Artist: Jan Mancuska
Venue: Kunstverein Braunschweig, Brunswick
Exhibition Title: Against Interpretation
Date: December 4, 2010 – February 20, 2011
Full gallery of images, press release and link available after the jump.
Images courtesy of Kunstverein Braunschweig, Brunswick
From December 4, 2010, to February 20, 2011, the Kunstverein Braunschweig is presenting the internationally renowned artist Ján Mančuška (*1972 in Bratislava, lives in Berlin and Prague) at the Haus Salve Hospes. Mančuška made a name for himself through his participation in numerous group exhibitions, for example at MoMA in New York, at ZKM Karlsruhe, at MUMOK in Vienna, or at the Tel Aviv Art Museum. In addition, Mančuška represented the Czech Republic at the 51st Biennale in Venice in 2005. Following a comprehensive presentation of his works at the Kunsthalle Basel (2008), the show at the Kunstverein Braunschweig represents his first institutional solo exhibition in Germany.
In the exhibition Against Interpretation, Ján Mančuška not lastly deals with the mechanisms of perception and understanding. By means of different interventions in the space and employing individual texts, images, and films, he succeeds in forcing open the space-time structure over and over. The individual installations in the space act as a sequence of settings that make reference to each other, and the artist incorporates the viewer’s movements into the exhibition in a nearly choreographic way. The film Lost Memory (Postcatastrophic Story) is presented as a deconstructed narration distributed throughout the ground floor of the Kunstverein. It rests on the viewer to reconstruct the fragmented story line, who is his or her quest for meaning has to leave the familiar linear path through the exhibition in order to move back and forth between the film fragments. The perception of Mančuška’s works is therefore strongly influenced by how the individual viewer behaves in the space and toward the work. While I walked reveals this approach in its tautology: it consists of a rubber strap bearing words that has been stretched back and forth from wall to wall at eye level. The printed text in turn describes the viewer’s own movement through the space as he or she reads it. Other installations and films also examine forms of narration in relation to space and its structure. Mančuška often makes dramaturgical reference to the venue’s architecture. At the Kunstverein, the artist carries this approach to the extremes by duplicating the layout of the Villa Salve Hospes with the aid of wall fixtures in order to shift it several meters to the west, virtually rearranging the space.