Claudia Märzendorfer
20.05. - 11.06.2016
 
#Reisegruppe schöner Männer



What do you do, stranded in the midst of nowhere? In the midst of anywhere.
Standing next to seven US-paletts, Wotruba is thinking aloud. He makes a sketch with motor oil. At least there’s enough paper, and the petrol station even has a photocopier. Those from the beginnings are still the best! His plan is bold: Thirty of the records put on ice, among them hits like Rasberry Fields Forever and Wotrubas Erben, will be melted and formed anew. Sure: All water under the bridge. Still: Should the plan work,  one could make progress with the new, improvised screen. It‘s a run against time. Somehow, everything is connected and interdependent …
Reisegruppe schöner Männer [Travel Group of Handsome Men] is an experimental set-up – or gesture – in which, just like a composition, Claudia Märzendorfer playfully combines elements that could be the main components of larger groups of works:


Wotruba‘s Agave (Thanks, Werner!)


Windscreen, 2016


Sketches of a Windscreen on Two US-paletts, 2016


Copy of a Copier That Copied Itself, 1991 


One may best describe Claudia Märzendorfer‘s artistic practice as an attempt to portray a moment that seems to be out of control, at once impossible and somehow „wrong“. Rather than making works for eternity (and products for the art market), the artist is interested in the processual, the transformation, as well as in a work‘s complete dissolution or disappearance. Thus, „time“ is a subject in all her works, both in ephemeral sculptural installations and in objects, which were produced with a monumental amount of time. For the artist, time is the „only neutral currency“ – an entity that, regardless of background and social status is and remains the exact same measure.
Since the end of the 1990s, Märzendorfer has been developing and working with a technique and material that  meets her interest in the volatile and uncontrollable: she produces objects with frozen water (sometimes also frozen ink) – ephemeral, unstable sculptures, whose disintegration begins at the moment of their presentation. These generate unique, magic situations that, like musical live performances always bear an instant of surprise. To go against the grain, take a point of view that is free from being functional or useful is a motor for the artist‘s creativity. Besides the already mentioned ice casts – of, a.o. drying, or rather: dripping laundry (Kaltwäsche, 1997 ff.), records made of ice (Frozen Records, since 2005) or a prototype assembly kit (Als er das Messer in die Sonne warf, 2009) – her oeuvre also includes works that explore spaces by means of photography and drawing. For instance, works from recent years like the wall drawing Wandabwicklung (2014) that spans over 200 m in the BIG headquarters in Vienna, or Entered from the elevator, everything is located on the ground floor (2015). For this, the artist made photographic copies of the working and studio spaces of a complete floor of the University of Applied Arts in Vienna and presented the photos in a poster-size pad: a concentration, or even collapse, of space and time.
Then again, to make the objects from the group of works Ersatzteile [spare parts], it took an absurd amount of time and effort: over the course of eight years, the manufactured truck tyres, engine block and various other parts of a lorry slowly took shape stitch by stitch. The engine block‘s organic tangle of knitted cords, tubes and chambers is reminiscent of viscera that have developed an independent existence. „In principle, my vision is that of an deviation or shift from the „standard situation“: to create a world next or parallel to the world because in most cases I find social guidelines and conventions too restrictive. I‘m often surprised about conformism and believe this is one of our society‘s fundamental problems. I often miss people‘s courage to change or improve situations or the general framework independently.“
(CM in an interview on sustainability, 2014)






Text: Rsbrry Club




Öffnungszeiten:
Während der laufenden Ausstellung!

Sa 15 bis 21 Uhr 
und nach tel. Vereinbarung!

Kontakt: 
Marxergasse 16
A-1030 Wien
0043680 21 63 551
email: offspace@chello.at

 


 Mit der freundlichen Unterstützung von:


















































Lone Haugaard Madsen
05.02. bis 27.02. 2016

Raum#331 - Fakt


Lone Haugaard Madsen’s artistic practice has changed since 2006 – from the analysis of art institutions based on artistic research to the production of seemingly abstract sculptures, paintings, and objects; works that were almost exclusively produced in the studio, which nevertheless do not lack Haugaard Madsen’s critical access.
While priorly art’s reception had been in the foreground, the conditions of artistic production are focused on now. No longer bound to art institutions as the field of interest, the studio with its spatial, historic, and social dimensions has become the subject of Haugaard Madsen’s work. Just like her „Museumsbänke“ [Museum benches] reflected institutional imperatives, current works contain the specific necesseties of spaces of production. She has since produced a large number of works, which implicitly reflect on the conditions of artistic work.
Many of the materials used by Madsen are other artists’ production residues. Friends and colleagues with whom she has shared her studio provide her with remnants, leftovers, and design materials from their own studio practice. Other works indexically refer to the studio: casts of some corners of her studio, for instance, or graphic works in which she has reproduced her studio’s wall structure with simple printing techniques; sculptures of dimensions so they only just fit through the studio’s door, or amorphous objects made of carpets, which had previously cladded the studio’s walls – all refer to the spatial dimentions of her working space. By leaving many of these objects, sculptures, and paintings seemingly unfinished, and only subtly modifying found forms, she underlines the artistic decision-making process.
Recently, Lone Haugaard Madsen has frequently also expanded her studio into the institutions in which she has exhibited. In order to shape her work on site, she has sent unfinished pieces from her studio to galleries and art societies (Kunstvereine) and has used remains of prior exhibitions and materials found in the depot or workshop of the respective institution. Occasionally, she has painted over the posters and invitation cards for previous exhibitions or she has used partition walls, turned horizontically, as large pedestal displays (which, btw, can never really be regarded seperately from her actual works). Her materials are thus informed with narratives of production, which in turn could be understood as an aesthetics of working conditions. But like the afore mentioned ‚benches’, which despite their reduced form imply an ambivalence in terms of reference and practice, Haugaard Madsen’s production narrative is not a cohesive, coherent narration. This incoherence is possibly best described as an essayistic practice: a diverse collection of terms and relations, which can not be reduced to a clear content. These works avoid illustrating semantic clarity, for they do not claim objectivity for themselves. With their subtle irony and abundance of ephemeral allusions and associations, they are far from offering solutions. It is this (partly) paradoxical narration that suggests essayistic concepts of authorship; concepts that imply idiosyncratic decisions, subjectivity and taste, while at the same time the conditions form their perspective. Therein lies the ambiguous character of Lone Haugaard Madsen’s most recent artistic production.

J. Bigelow


                                                                                                                                                              

Öffnungszeiten:
Während der laufenden Ausstellung!
Sa 15 bis 21 Uhr
und nach tel. Vereinbarung! 


Kontakt: 
Marxergasse 16
A-1030 Wien
0043680 21 63 551
email: offspace@chello.at

Mit der freundlichen Unterstützung von:



Ausstellungsansichten:
Photo: Till Megerle




















Michael Pfrommer
26.06. bis 17.07. 2015











Öffnungszeiten: 
Während der laufenden Ausstellung!
Do u. Sa 17 bis 21 Uhr
oder nach tel. Absprache. 


Kontakt: 
Marxergasse 16
A-1030 Wien
0043680 21 63 551
email: offspace@chello.at


Ohne Titel, 2015, 78 x 59 cm Aquarell und Tusche auf Papier auf Baumwolle mit Rahmung 




 
In Michael Pfrommer’s pictures, one time and again sees articles of clothing that somehow appear to imitate their wearer in that they—hollow within—are able to assume the outer form of a human body. You look, for example, into the empty inner lining of a suit that stands upright before you or is draped carefully and neatly, like a window display, to then, although listless like a discarded friend yet bold like a blithe voyeur, spend the night along with other “real” humans together in bed.   
A truly dark fairytale by Hans Christian Andersen from 1847 titled “The Shadow,” tells the story of a traveling man who convinces his shadow to separate from him in order to explore something that the man himself cannot accomplish alone. But the shadow does not return to its master. It is years later, when the shadow, now wearing clothing and of seemingly human flesh and blood, knocks on the door of its former, now ailing master one night and then more than turns the tables through, namely, persuading the learned but trusting man—in return for the gift of a stay at a health resort—to play his shadow in exchange, allegedly only in pretense. In this course of events, the former master, now a pseudo-shadow, becomes more and more dependent on his once subordinate shadow. Until a time comes when no one believes him anymore when he claims to have once been a human being, or indeed to actually still be one. The cruel shadow being, however, who has meanwhile become a king, the result of a trick marriage, declares the good-natured man crazy and even has him publicly executed.     

 The people that Pfrommer paints and draws are made up of individuals from his private surroundings, who appear in his pictures as variants of a type or a family, as doppelgangers, siblings, shadows, or as hybrids that look similar to one another in various ways. Nevertheless, although there is no hierarchical relationship between them as in the story by Hans Christian Andersen just cited—also because they are all “only” versions— they instead appear not only similar among themselves but seem to have an equivalent value to the objects, landscapes, and architecture in which they meld to become pictorial spaces. Through the painterly use of contrast and sharpness, however, in these pictures the elements of people, things, and nature—which come from different worlds—are placed in a type of formal as well as, quasi, narrative tensioned relationship. Some parts of the pictures are also combined in such a way that they pervade each another like a photographic multiple exposure and might even penetrate into the essence of one another. This happens not only with peaceful intentions as in, for instance, the picture of someone resting on a pillow that, through its pattern, as if it were a sign of mutual understanding, is superimposed over the face of the sleeping woman; but also in such a way, as in the case of the picture of parasitic sponges or fungi that take over a human hand. They really exist, the genus Cordyceps, parasites belonging to the ascomycete fungi, which are able to penetrate not only the body but also the brain of their host to control its actions remotely. Carpenter ants, for instance, are manipulated by this zombie fungus in such a way that they simply carelessly abandon their group of fellow creatures and ultimately, while the parasite then spreads its flesh-like stromata further and further through their bodies, while the ants consequently mutate ever more into fungi, and then die alone. In one of Pfrommer’s works made on a piece of newspaper, such a fungus has arguably made a human hand into its putative proprietor. What at first glance appears to be splayed fingers, possibly one part of a human body lying in the grass that seems quite natural-romantic in the end, proves at second glance to be rather a part of a human being that is slowly but surely becoming another species with an entirely altered outer appearance, and perhaps driven by a new brain or at least a new intention.    
It’s not necessary to come at everything with such a criminological approach. Michael Pfrommer told me that he always begins working with objects and people around him in order to simply begin and then to see while working what about them, actually interests him. During this process, the genre and the knowledge of it that we all indeed more or less already possess become part of how the picture develops. Such as: the genre of landscape painting, images of the sea, portraits, and so forth. Then, one simply has to do something again, startover, and then try working in various techniques: drawing, watercolors, gouache, India ink— until the right style for the particular picture is found. In most cases there is only one, very rarely two are equally good for a specific image. What is important is the fact that the individual pictorial elements retain their specific character, their own quality and moreover together, or even better jointly along with the other parts of the picture they become a pictorial space, thus what is called a good picture. I like that and indeed, there are several versions of many pictures, something that I personally would like to read as an alternative to the claim that painting inevitably has more to do with the concept of the original than any other artistic media.   
There are also numerous depictions of socks in Pfrommer’s work, some with slightly hairy legs sticking out, some sleepwalking, all of which prove on closer examination to be a type of magic trick—like the virgin who is supposedly sawn in half and thereby exists in two parts, though we are all know that one part of it is just a dummy. The peculiar cast of shadows and the fall of folds on the footwear in these pictures suggest that these empty sock forms are horizontal, perhaps lying on a table, painted or drawn, that were afterward turned at a right angle and then filled with a leg or a prosthesis or simply just fixed to a painted leg.    

 Michael Pfrommer utilizes another kind of illusive maneuver in his portrayals, in which elements from his others pictorial motifs are somehow zoomed in upon and cut out: structures of floors, tiles, or masonry, that suddenly stand alone rather like an abstract painting, that make one think of a minimalist image or perhaps a meandering, graphic pattern, that draws us in like a maelstrom, as if under the influence of drugs. There are also fences and lattice-like gates on windows or balconies that you look through without knowing immediately what is in front and what is behind, or whether we are still viewers or have already fallen into the story.    
What I—maybe intentionally—forgot at the beginning of this text is the fact that the protagonist of “The Shadow,” who first sends it away, was sitting one night at a balcony in the South—it was called an “Altan”1 in 1847—and saw through its latticework a wonderful apparition at a balcony across the way. It is first then that the man, who has become curious, sends his shadow over to that very “Altan” to explore the apartment within, since there didn’t seem to be any access to it from the street. The shadow however, then disappears without reporting anything to him about the apartment or what was in it. It’s not until years later when the shadow returns again that it claims, beyond that other balcony, to have seen and experienced everything. Absolutely everything. He couldn’t tell his former master more. I am convinced that the devious plan of the dark shadow had there already long since begun.    

Kerstin Cmelka in April 2014   




Diese Ausstellung ist eine Koproduktion mit der Galerie 
Philipp Pflug Contemporary / Frankfurt am Main
Photo: Wolfgang Günzel, Offenbach 



Ausstellungsansichten
Photo: U.B.