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21.11.1998 - 23.12.1998, Karlsruhe
Songs from a room
“Songs from a room” is the second group-exhibition in our gallery. The exhibition offers equally a retrospective and a preview of the exhibition-program 1998/99. However, the main interest is not a performance-oriented show of the gallery’s artists, but the particular interest of the gallery in the topic of space and time and their interrelations. The narrative title refers a sort of journey for which the observer of the exhibition is bound. The alluded journey could start with works dealing with interior space - John Miller, Silke Schatz, Corinne Wasmuht – and end through a field of scenic imagination – Claudius Böhm, Peter Pommerer, Daniel Roth.
In the interiors that Corinne Wasmuht creates out of thin layers of oil paint on wood, the observer steps into rooms that consist of different biological fragments. These rooms originate in reality, although their furnishing is surrealistic. The taste-organ of a frog for example becomes a chair, the capsule of a jellyfish an ashtray. In these bizarre interiors the line between technology and biology blurs. The sampling of scientific knowledge is borrowed from techno culture. The respective signs are individually legible; in the painting they merge to a whole, for which the room provides the frame.
Silke Schatz attempts to revive rooms experienced in her past by memory. The form of drawing serving her to this purpose, reminds the viewer of architectural drafts. The representation of the rooms in separate fine lines leads to a transparency through numerous rooms. Not one room is shown but many rooms - one behind another. The subjective transparency of the drawings one hand stands in direct opposition to their accurate representation on the other: a paradox inherent to memorization.
John Miller’s digital prints on canvas are interior views into television-studios in which game shows are produced. In contrast to his former game show paintings - still painted conventionally by the artist in oil on canvas - he uses in his recent work a more contemporary form of representation – although the basic rules of painting are not abandoned. The connection of fortune and misfortune, transferred by the media of television is not to be understood as a pure critique. It is primarily concerned with the topic of ambivalence of the perception of reality and the loss of reality. The loss of reality in the medium of painting is consequently implicit.
Daniel Roth’s work that mostly begins in rooms and takes its end in landscapes – forms the interface of the exhibition’s theme. In his work illusionary journeys through rooms and landscapes are suggested, imparted by different objects and drawings. Hard facts form the gateway to his fictionalized situations. Places and landscapes that are far apart from one another are connected to each other effortlessly by corridors and funiculars. The constant shift between reality and fiction is also formally issued through the discrepancies that occur in the objects and drawings. One-to-one objects alternate with magnified objects and miniatures. The viewpoint is forced to readjust to changing proportions, time and time again. Far suddenly becomes close, close seems to be far away. The observer is drawn into these worlds and carried away by the narrated story.
Claudius Böhm’s pictures show illusionary landscapes that merge disparate pieces of different visual worlds. Formal references taken from techno culture, quotations from art history and communication forms derived from advertising are formed into landscapes. These pictures leave the order of ‘up’ and ‘down’, ‘before’ and ‘after’ behind. The basic concepts – made on a computer – become a physical counterpart on the big canvases. The vista is immersed in them and then immediately flushed out of them. The resulting expansion could be understood as a kind of ‘all-over’ telling a never-ending story of fictional landscapes. The mentioned, quoted visual worlds form the antithesis to the narrative form – to escape from the present seems impossible.
In the drawings by Peter Pommerer his fantasy forms colorful pencil drawings. References to all fields of reality are included in order to create a conglomerate of his understanding of the world. Connections to the medial surroundings are contained as well as the own ‘self’ facing the disorder. The work could be understood as Pommerer’s mental landscape but equally – via liberation through being publicly exhibited - as an open whole.
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Installationview (from behind to the front) : Corinne Wasmuth, Peter Pommerer, Claudius Böhm, Daniel Roth