February 23 – March 23, 2013
Raphael Linsi, Michaela Meise, Gabriel Rossell-Santillán, Alexandre Singh
•Ils usaient de la parole un peu comme le chef de train de ses drapeaux, ou de sa lanterne.•
The light and sound installation The School for Objects Criticized (2010) by New York and Paris based artist Alexandre Singh consists of a group of objects placed on singular pedestals that are engaging in an animated conversation. During the exhibition, the tape player Osmin Moses - a protagonist and prop of this comedic play himself - substitutes the complete installation and functions as a reporter giving an account of the conversation between the objects. A dizzying conversation has sparked among the two tape players Lucian Samosata and Osmin Moses, the bleach bottle by the name of Sergei Skoffavitch, the unformed sculpture Penny Powder, the toaster Despina, the childrens’s slinky toy Daphne Spring and a taxidermic skunk about an exhibtion in New York. Alexandre Singh custom fits dialogues for his objects, in which he reflects in a sort of comedy of manners on the current state of art and culture as well as criticizes his own work in a self-reflexive volte with current art world opinions and clichés. Influences in his theartrically work range from the writings of Moliére and Oscar Wilde, the movies of Woody Allen to the sharp satires of Lucian Samosata, who also servers as an eponym for the second tape player in Singhs work.
In some of her works Michalea Meise references the French sculptor Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux (1827-1875). As a young man, Carpeaux traveled on a scholarship to Naples, where odd and menacing events happened to him with a rather absurd frequency. In Meise’s video collage Lettre to the Eltern (2010), Dirk von Lotzow, Nadira Husain and Josephyne Pryde read a letter of the young man to his parents in German, French and English. This personal and dramatic report is set with pictures of different versions of his sculpture Pêcheur napolitain à la coquille - the reproduction and distribution of which the artist pushed at the time - and illustrations from a Neapolitan souvenir booklet printed during the time when Carpeaux made the journey. The sculpture depicts a laughing young man holding a shell to his ear. Carved in stone, his facial expression seems to imply that the hollow vessel tells his maker's story and that he is just as amused about it as Meise and von Lotzow are at the beginning of the video.
Another object that resonates stories from within is Wort Gestalt (2013) by Gabriel Rossell-Santillán. For years the artist, who is originally from Mexico, has been addressing the history and current situation of the Huichol Indigena Community in Mexico. During his stay and collaboration with the Huichol a series of audio recordings developed which can be heard from the cave of a strange, egglike object shaped from sugar and corn by Rossell-Santillán. Recordings of ritual songs are mixed with mystical tales of the Huichol, a text about ethnologist Konrad Theodor Preuss and his collection of ritual objects housed at the Ethnological Museum in Berlin-Dahlem, and personal reports by Rossell-Santillán about his collaboration with the shaman Dyonisio.
Behind a wall of so called Einmannplatten (Rigips) which Raphael Linsi built into the exhibition room and titled Einmannwand (2013), we find a projection of his video Influenza (2013). Raphael Linsi looks through a camcorder onto arrangements of glass bottles, plastic funnels, pieces of wood, sneakers and smoke-bombs. In a picturesque fashion, the objects of his simultaneously performend and observed rituals are distributing and integrating themselves into the mountainous landscape of an unspecific surrounding. His fleeting gestures speak their own language of visual syntax and grammar that seems instantly comprehensible without providing any text.
Michaele Meise’s ceramic Fluch (2012) displays traces of incised words, beginnings of curses, supressed and engulfed by the clay mass of a glazed piece of ceramic.
The exhibition »Ils usaient de la parole un peu comme le chef de train de ses drapeaux, ou de sa lanterne.« gathers works that continuously and in various perspectives deal with objects and their relation to speech and narration. »Sie brauchten die Gegenstände fast so wie der Zugführer seinen Signalstab oder seine Laterne.« Objects don’t speak. They are arranged, charged with curses, meanings, interpretations, stories - they serve as means and mediums of reflexion and parody and they tolerate us using them as points of orientation in the forest of visuals and narratives.
Raphael Linsi, *1982 in Zürich, Schweiz, lives and works in Basel. Influenza,Video, 2013; Einmannwand,Rigipsboards, Aluminium profiles, 2013
Michaela Meise, *1976 in Hanau, Deutschland, lives and works in Berlin. Lettre to the Eltern, Video, 2010; Fluch, glazed ceramic, 2013
Gabriel Rossell-Santillán, *1977 in Mexico City, Mexico lives and works in Berlin. Wort Gestalt, Audiopiece, Stereo-System, Sugar, Corn, 2013
Alexandre Singh, *1980 in Bordeaux, Frankreich, lives and works in Paris and New York. The School for Objects Criticized, 2010, Audiopiece, Tape Player, Pedestal, Beanback Chairs, Light, (exhibition version 2013)
(S. Beckett, Ils usaient de la parole un peu comme le chef de train de ses drapeaux, ou de sa lanterne.; Malone meurt, 1951)
Thanks to: the artists, Galerie Johann König, Sprüth Magers Berlin.