Artists: Dirk Skreber and Claus Föttinger
Venue: Engholm, Vienna
Date: November 13, 2009 – January 7, 2010
Full gallery of images, press release and link available after the jump. Images:
Images courtesy of Engholm Galerie
Claus Föttinger (born 1960, Nuremberg) shows a lamp in the form of the atom bomb “Fat Boy” from the “Hanoi/ Saigon”, which is constructed out of several geometrical laminated inkjet prints. Claus Föttinger took a number of photos during his travelling from Hanoi to Saigon, showing Vietnamese women, who are wearing masks to protect themselves from smog and thus to be able to ride their mopeds. Contrary to the usual viewing of female disguise as suppression in gender discourse, the women on Föttinger’s photos disguising themselves with masks are to be seen as those who strive to show their independence of movement.
Two standard lamps “Jungle, Java” and “Dieng Plateau” by Föttinger bring out as a central theme an outsider’s view, according to which such routine things strike as being outstanding. The photos used for these works were taken by the artist himself. Motivated by the colonialists’ adventuruous zest for traveling to far and exotic countries, Föttinger embarked on his travels, carefully documenting everything “strange” with a European angle of view. In this manner, the jungle is presented as an exciting and exotic image of nature on the carved wood of a standard lamp in colonial style.
The big arrangement “Java”, consisting of a hanging lamp as well as an illuminated table and benches, is reminiscent of bubbling volcano masses on Dieng Plateau. Thanks to the illumination and the choice of material this work has a translucid and light effect and might make one think of Tarkovsky’s ocean in his film “Solaris”, which materializes the cosmonauts’ unconsciousness.
Föttinger makes use of objects of daily use in his installations for presenting his ideas. He constructs private situations in exhibition spaces to attract attention to social contexts of everyday life.
Photo wallpapers, car crash sculptures and three new “pluck” paintings by Dirk Skreber (born 1961, Lubeck), who at a certain time point studied together with Claus Föttinger in Dusseldorf, correspond to Föttinger’s installations. Similar to previous paintings, for example, those of car crashes and floods, Dirk Skreber deals with daily phenomena in his works as well, but they are of more spectacular nature. Cars smashed in crashes, which though wrecked are polished, hang in front of the wall-filling photo wallpapers and go through the bodies of naked women, who are pending in water. In his paintings Dirk Skreber refers to sexually exaggerated comics and porno industry images. The naked women on the photos are not to bee seen at first sight, the foam stripes of different height covering all the surface of the paintings let us recognize them only on closer examination, more as constructed lifeless shells with stereotypical gestures then as living creatures.