Artist: Josef Strau
Venue: House of Gaga, Mexico City
Exhibition Title: EDITION, REPETITION, COMPETITION AND JEWELRY OF FLOWERS AND OF REDEMPTION
Date: July 13 – October 26 , 2013
Full gallery of images, press release and link available after the jump.
Images courtesy of House of Gaga, Mexico City
The three terms of the title enumerate some of the basic exercises which constitute the works of the artist.
The exhibition in the gallery House of Gaga somehow repeats certain aspects of earlier work, but at the same time tries to return with it with a particular awareness to repeat them as exercise of redemption, accompanied by texts investigating and clarifying the idea of redemption, for instance about the difference of photographic and redemptive subjective exercise, both dealing for instance with a certain (and possibly lost) moment of the past.
Certain theologies relate to how redemption could be practiced or how it could be mediated. There are two models of these mediative works. The first is provided in the model of the works of the angel and the second is in the works of the prophet. As the work of redemption is not directly, not primarily a work of creation, it is not productive in the profane sense, and should not be considered and legitimated by rules of productivity, it still is, the first and dominant force. The two main model ways are deriving from the mediation model angel and prophet. In the concept of division of divine labor the angel’s work is called repair and the prophet’s working of the divine force is mediated by telling it.
Posters of different times and themes, the photos and the reappearance of the older work in context of the recent works, like the lamps built out of broken and repaired elements are introducing the theme of redemption.
The exhibition appears as a collection of objects in full bloom presented in very early morning dusk, complete with silver roses embedded in cheap hardware chains. The exhibition consists mainly of fences, flowers and texts and the photos express the particularity of the way all these objects look in the moment of special light like in the moment of the very first appearance of the light of the day.
They are still-life-ing by still leaving a gleam through violet and multicolored dots like murals of shadow patterns cast onto the garden walls like embroidered lace in the dark look of an installation that introduces a sense of an almost traditional presence of the language of color awareness. Within its affirmative fragments of color pattern it repeatedly contains fragments of text always and all through relating to ideas of redemption in its many facets and is topped and illuminated by real and individually produced lamps, welded and constructed with cutoffs of old garden fences and with relics of old Mexican chandeliers. As if embroidered, the metal surfaces become paintings. The lamps as sculptures seem to allegorically echo brass instruments as if portraying musicians. All broken elements together re-appropriate somehow the secret of the traditional garden look as an embroidered enclosure cast into the very contemporary condition of the art gallery space.
Taking the certain theory literally, like that each of it is evidence of the immanence of photography, meaning it is recreating an immanent melancholy, as it is transferring a moment of life into a moment of image, it is philosophically immanently dark, it becomes a photo of Nezahualcolyotl.
The exhibition includes as well a new edition of Montezuma jewelry with the object and text elements of the general particular focus on flowers and redemption themes.