Past exhibition

Anonymous Sculptures
Video and Form in Contemporary Art
Haus Esters

Opening: Sunday, 10 October 2010, 11.30 a.m., Museum Haus Lange

The appearance of a video image always requires technological presentation to create both a three-dimensional presence and a shape. The Anonymous Sculptures exhibition looks at how young artists deal with the fleeting video image and its sculptural presence in a space. Video and sculpture, two apparently natural opposites, interact with each other in current spatial installations, creating a complex aesthetic interplay between image and object. Often the sculptural content of works like these remains anonymous, and can be identified only at a second glance. In terms of content, various socio-cultural tendencies in today's society are brought into focus, along with their effects in terms of media, urban life and ecology. Here the standpoint of the individual and his/her relationship with a world that has in the mean time become highly complex and characterized by a flood of pictorial information is examined repeatedly.

The exhibition locates eight international artists on this thematic map who have been operating in the border zones of sculpture, video and installation since the 1990s.

So in Study for Provenance, 2008, Fiona Tan's camera captures her two sons playing at home. She develops this portrait in an undefined intermediate format: the flat-screen monitor on the wall looks like a picture object, like a framed black and white photograph - an impression that is further reinforced by the sparseness of the action. This pictorial quality means that the video technology almost disappears. Fiona Tan turns private into public, thus lending the autobiographical reference a sense of general validity.

Diana Thater, however, explicitly reflects upon the relationship between nature, technology and mankind. She filmed the North American Monarch butterfly for Untitled (Butterfly Videowall #2), 2008, in its winter quarters in Michoacan, Mexico. Flatscreen monitors, DVD players and cables show media technology impinging upon the world of flora and fauna. Thater meets this essentially technoid coolness in the installation with an intensive, sensual colour quality that suffuses the surrounding space.

In his work Race Riot, 2001, Paul Pfeiffer confronts viewers with the world of sport and a mass society shaped by the media associated with it. Pfeiffer places a digital camcorder with its display folded out in a showcase reminiscent of visual experiences in a natural history museum. The video shows a short, manipulated excerpt from a basketball game. Video image and technique fuse to create a striking metaphor for media and social cycles.

The Anonymous Sculptures exhibition with is multi-media works, some relating to the space, some formally closed, invites visitors to reassess borders between genres, to reflect about the qualities and permeability of categories that are separate as such. The interplay between videographic and sculptural elements creates complex pictorial spaces that definitely also trigger contradictory experiences in the field of tension between technology, nature, society and the individual.

This exhibition was mounted in co-operation with the Galerie im Taxispalais, Innsbruck.

Participating artists:
Nathalie Djurberg, Matias Faldbakken, Zilla Leutenegger, Tony Oursler, Paul Pfeiffer, Tracey Snelling, Fiona Tan, Diana Thater
Aernout Mik and Yves Netzhammer are also participating in Innsbruck.

with detailed essays on the individual works and contributions by Martina Dobbe, Ursula Frohne, Sylvia Martin and an interview by Beate Ermacora and Sylvia Martin with Wulf Herzogenrath, German/English, 144 pages, Verlag für moderne Kunst Nürnberg, retail price 28 euros, Museum edition 22 euros