Clages Gallery | Bernhard Walter – Catch Sight Screening – Press release
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Bernhard Walter – Catch Sight Screening – Press release

January 21 till February 19, 2011

“Catch Sight Screening” – The presentation format takes exhibition viewers into the heart of a kaleidoscopically unfurling space. Here “to catch a sight”, or “sneak a peak” becomes the desired moment as captured in six videos playing at the same time. In this exhibition, Clages gallery artists show the various ways this medium is employed in their individual artistic practices.Protest against interchangeable principles is a key element in Juan Pérez Agirregoikoa’s work. To give voice to this, the Basque artist uses banners with slogans. Even in his small-format drawings and watercolors, Agirregoikoa questions the triviality of modern heroism. The two approaches collide in his 2010 video “The Inner Beauty of Human Beings”, where the artist employs slogans attributed to “yellow press” celebrities and conscientiously sets them against selected details of an image that run counter to the text.

In Rita McBride’s video “Bon Anniversaire” (2010), the viewer sees the artist walking nonchalantly past objects known from science fiction and fantasy worlds, as if it were a matter of course. In doing so, McBride positions herself within these visionary worlds. At the same time, a shift in context occurs in which the usually highly-aestheticized film props reveal themselves as mangled wrecks in the real world. From the laconicism of the real scenery, a storage area of visionary props – airplanes taking off and landing at the nearby Fiumicino Airport – a conflict emerges between reality and fiction, original and copy.

Marina Naprushkina tells a little story in “Patriot II”. The artist is a protagonist in her own 2007 artwork: she holds a picture of Belarus President Lukaschenko under her arm and carries it through the bustling streets of Minsk. Upon arrival at her destination, Naprushkina hangs the head of state’s portrait on the wall and listens to the national anthem, eyes brimming with pride. As typical of her work, the artist employs an almost liminal, border-transgressing approach to the system in her home of White Russia, provoking a confrontation of propagandistic means with everyday life in her home country.

Anne Pöhlmann’s video “Computer Game” emerges from the juxtaposition of black and white photographs shown one after the other. The main motif for her 2005 video loop shows exterior façade of a parking garage, seen from the interior, which is underscored in the original with the exact same sound. The technical means employed, the montage and the significant lighting situation – generated by the unusual architecture of the building – evokes an uneasy feeling in the viewer. The video is one of a group of four, all of which are to be understood as choreographed within architecture. The impression that the work centers around the moving image is achieved with a dramatic slowing-down and is a direct reference to Pöhlmann’s investigation of photography.

Claus Richter appears as Captain Hook in his video “Conveyor Cave” from the year 2006. Treasure chest in hand, he leaves his ship to embark on his next expedition. But instead of an uncivilized jungle he finds himself in an Opel manufacturing plant, where robots are at work assembling car parts. The Hook character looks completely out of place here, mostly due to the fact that he is exploring the assembly hall in the same way an explorer would a Pacific island. Richter composed a film score to accompany this piece; robots move to the beat. Finally the protagonist leaves the scene and cruises with his ship into the sunset. Richter turns the real world into an illusion and the illusionary world appears to replace the real.

Bernhard Walter’s “Stereoptikon” was made in 2005. Duchamp’s investigation of optical phenomenon prompted him to engage a slightly shifted spatial construction into two slides, aimed at touching upon the three-dimensional imagination. He titled it “Stereopticon”. Walter converted this construction into a real steel object. The 2.8 meters-high artwork was installed over the Spree River, so that it could be seen from a window. The film documentation converts the motif back to the second dimension.

The three stellings in the middle of the room are also by Bernhard Walter and are to be viewed as independent sculpture with the title “Drei Türme (Three Towers)” (iron, laquer 2011).

Britta Rübsam