The Laocoön Dilemma
curated by Jürgen Dehm
12 November until 17 Febuary 2016
window space at Trödelmarkt
In winter 2015/16, Galerie Sturm will take a view across the edge of the arts. A curated on-screen programme, shown in the window of the gallery at Trödelmarkt in Nuremberg, brings together ten international videos dedicated to coexisting and mutual artistic media, genres and practices. Static and moving images mingle or fall into confrontation with one another, architectural forms and structures and landscapes are presented in the flow of video recordings, while art history is quoted or used varyingly.
12 November 2015 at 19.30 h
Malte Bruns: Sitzung, 2015
HD video, color, no sound, loop
A golem confronts a bodyless head in Malte Bruns‘ „Session“. This head flows in space like a manifestation, smokes a cigarette, starts a conversation, an argument. The awakening of the artistic material shows features of the grotesque. The mouth deforms, sucks on the ciggy, belches clouds of smoke. Furthermore, the confrontation of both protagonists reflects the act of looking by repeating the positions of both the viewer and the video in the window display of Sturm gallery at the Troedelmarkt
23 November – 2 December 2015
Inge Meijer: Grand Tour, 2015
HD video, color, sound, 6:32 min.
The Dutch artist Inge Meijer has gathered facades of pleasure in her most recent video work, “Grand Tour”. Meijer embarks on the trail of modern day-trip tourism, which seeks to satisfy both escapism and clichéd desires with its modelled offerings. On her journey she discovers a simulation of the tropics in the northern hemisphere, or a Dutch windmill on a Turkish beach. Curiosity about the effects of disasters seems to drive tours of radioactively contaminated areas in Ukraine. With her “Grand Tour” Meijer succeeds both in linking ideology and tourism, as well as in uncovering the absurdity of some “oases of happiness”.
In her performative video works, Anita Delaney brings still objects to life. In „Untitled (Gentleman’s Head)“ from 2011, clawed hands in gloves play the shell game with the head of a noble man. For the rubber head of the gentleman, this harmless game turns serious in the end. In her works the Irish artist Delaney examines an aesthetic of the pathetic, searching to find the right balance between the failed, the abject, and the humorous. By doing so, she deliberately takes a narrow view of her chosen objects to emphasize their specialness. The actors, who originally set the things in motion, are only visible as fragments.
13 – 22 December 2015
Anna Hawkins: With Outthrust Arm, 2014
HD video, color, sound, 4:58 min
In her video “With Outthrust Arm” the young American artist Anna Hawkins examines the iconic sculpture “Laocoon and His Sons”, one of the central subjects of Western art historic discussions: to date the sculpture is used to define and measure the boundaries of artworks and genres, especially since the discovery of the marble copy in 1506. Hawkins uses amateur YouTube footage of the sculpture, and isolates it from its environment, the Vatican Museums. She dissects the sculpture into its fragments and reorganizes it again. The deconstruction and reconstruction liberates the masterpiece of all known interpretations, especially of those referring to a narration, and by using digital cropping technology the artist skillfully overrides the limitations of genres.
23 December 2015 – 1 Januar 2016
Sonja Engelhardt: Crying about the Passing of Time, 2005
Video, color, no sound, 2:00 min.
Sonja Engelhardt’s poetic work “Crying about the Passing of Time” refers back to a classic of Surrealist film, Luis Buñuel’s und Salvador Dalí’s Un chien andalou (1928/29). The close-up of a cut with a razor knife through an eyeball in this film was interpreted both as a crack-up of traditional seeing habits and a reflection on the medium film itself. Engelhardt’s short video does not show a radical cut through an eye but along the eyelashes of the artist. Timidly, she cuts lash after lash with a pair of scissors. The sharp blade is threatening the visual sense; nevertheless, it stays intact. While time is passing, eyelashes fall down like tears; from time to time the cheekbone or the maxilla temporarily stops them from falling down, finally gravity pulls them down
17 September until 1 November 2015
Kai Klahre: Öldurst
2 July until 16 August 2015
Jude Griebel: Wasted
“I love you more than all the plastic in the ocean.”
Canadian artist Jude Griebel overheard this unusual declaration of parting lovers. The statement reveals an understanding of vastness—of something sublime in its scale—that is not measured by one’s insignificance compared to the awesome forces of nature. Unlike the sublime of the oceans and mountains in Caspar David Friedrich paintings, the untenable power and unthinkable vastness the lover describes is symptomatic of contemporary patterns of consumption. Tossing away a single bottle is an afterthought, but as a collective habitual action it creates a mass in the ocean so vast that it seems to have no beginning and no end—just like romantic love.
The imperial measurement system is evidence of how long we have used our bodies to scale the unthinkable into understandable units. The body as a measurement system also applies to ideas, as seen in the classical artist’s depiction of virtues as allegorical figures. The problem with using embodied representation to give abstract concepts discrete and lively forms is the inherent assumption of a body’s stability. Bodies grow, shrink, expand and leak. They can penetrate each other’s surfaces; they can be disciplined into new shapes. And indeed the abject nature of our bodies makes them an inconsistent measuring tool.
Griebel’s series Wasted gives natural and unnatural disasters human forms, from the monstrous face of an oil spill, to a boat-headed, fish-bodied figure. These are the nasty children of the artist’s meticulously handcrafted making, as imperfect as a smelly, hairy foot is as a unit of measure. But this imperfection is no loss.
Griebel gives embodied form to natural and human-made tragedies that exist on scales often impossible to comprehend. Inspired by visits to natural history displays and eccentric collections around the world, Wasted mashes up these referents with the aesthetics of handmade grotesque props from 1980s horror films of the artist’s youth, giving form to humanity’s current anxious relationship with the environment.
In Wasted, the figures embody the abject horror of coming to terms with the Anthropocene: unlike the tidy hierarchical categories of Enlightenment thinking, in our planetary epoch we can no longer deny that the future of our species is completely and hopelessly intertwined with that of our material world, and vice versa. Griebel’s figures bring shape to this grappling with our place on the planet, their abjection reflecting the personal, psychological turmoil in attempting to rethink our place in the universe. We can no longer be like Friedrich’s Monk by the Sea contemplating God’s omnipotence in every massive ocean wave. God is dead and we killed him long ago. Instead, like Griebel’s work, we are left to see ourselves in excessive piles of fish and mounds of bottles, in a collapse of revulsion and desire.
The exhibition is accompanied by a booklet.
Jude Griebel lives and works in Montreal.
29 July until 14 August 2015
at Bavarian Ministry of Finances Nuremberg
Showroom at Trödelmarkt
11 May until 21 June 2015
Galerie Sturm is pleased to present three new works by the sculpturer Isabel Ritter at the showroom at Trödelmarkt.
Frau mit Kind, 2014, stone plaster, acrylic paint, 63x17x16 cm
Petra, 2015, stone plaster, acrylic paint, 62x13x11 cm
Fernweh, 2015, stone plaster, acrylic paint, 65×15 x13 cm
Isabel Ritter, born 1978 in Pirmasens, graduated in 2010 as Meisterschüler at the Kunstakademie Nürnberg under Prof. Marko Lehanka lives and works in Nuremberg.
19 March until 10 May 2015
Malte Bruns: I‘ve done … questionable things
Galerie Sturm is pleased to present the solo exhibition ‘I`ve done … questionable things’ by Malte Bruns.
I`ve done … questionable things’ – with this sentence the replicant Roy in the American science fiction film Blade Runner (1982) admits to having killed people.
Attracted by the artificial film world of men-machines, their specific scene and mask images and their corresponding inventors Malte Bruns extracted his laboratory-like, fragile ‘Wunderkammer’ (The Cabinet of Wonders).
The replicants are, more perfectly designed by their creators in biogenetic composition than man himself, virtually indistinguishable from real people- so perfect that after some time they can develop emotions and empathy from memory in-plants.
This system blurs the line between man and replica (n) t and they present themselves as often more human than man himself…
In Malte Bruns video and photo work, references point to atmospheres and themes that deal in a medial way with the world of work, mechanics and machine.
His both backward-looking view of realities and innovations of the industrial revolution, and forward facing in today’s illusion techniques and animation capabilities, reflects the inventiveness and spirit of progress, where nothing is impossible.
For his installation corpus of individual video objects Malte Bruns creates a self-contained world that captures in addition to cinematic references, the cultural history of the showman, the cabinet of wonders and the panopticon.
The framing and mounting of the video works in individual pedestals and architectures strengthen these backgrounds.
The exhibition is accompanied by a booklet.
Malte Bruns lives and works in Düsseldorf.
8 January until 22 February 2015
Christiane Bergelt: there there
Galerie Sturm is pleased to present the solo exhibition ‘there there’ by Christiane Bergelt.
A light and watery turquoise superimposes green and grey layers of colour. An undefined form appears in the middle. Like most of Christiane Bergelt’s new paintings, the paper work ‘downwards’ explores the motif of water from different perspectives. Rather than concrete representation, her paintings refer to natural movements in flux. Similar to Heraclitus’ aphorism ‘everything flows’, they resist stagnation.
Areas of colour are not separated meticulously in her abstract paintings, but they leak in to other colours or spill over the papers’ empty, white parts. Bergelt paints thin layers of water and oil colours like large smudges or washed-out, blurred spots on top of each other, creating foregrounds and backgrounds. She blurs sharp divisions and lines, and avoids strict borders in the composition of her works. Bergelt’s works on paper avoid stasis through being loosely attached to the wall.
These transgressive and playful strategies become particularly apparent in her series ‘going off’, a group of seven, trapezoidal paper works. These small paintings are composed of strong moss green and black tones which, when contrasted with bright white, suggest themselves as artificial foreign matter that seems to interrupt the silence of moorlands. Similarly, her large paper work ‘forward’ comprises veiled, iconographic references to nature and waterscapes in its selection of colours and their application. The painting remains indefinite in form, evoking distant outlines and objects. As in many of Bergelt’s works the human body is the motive and the point of departure.
The aesthetic of water is not only conveyed through titles and painterly methods, it also reflects the process-based aspect of Bergelt’s artistic practice. She arranges colours and forms mostly as a result of intuition and as a reaction to the paintings’ details, context or surroundings. Her brushstrokes continue a movement of searching, tracing moods and changing directions with each new gesture.
An exchange with the poet Judith Nika Pfeifer came about as a result of creating the catalogue for Christiane Bergelt’s solo exhibition, ‘there there’. Bergelt mailed images of her paintings, photos and music to Pfeifer, who responded with a selection of texts. In turn, Bergelt assigned the texts to her images and used the dialogue to experiment with conscious and unconscious decision-making processes. For this reason, Bergelt’s and Pfeifer’s reactions are not translations from one media to the other, but, instead, unique interventions: an associative space that withdraws itself from definition, only being perceptible as lyrical abstraction.
The exhibition is accompanied by a booklet.
Christiane Bergelt lives and works in Berlin.