Room without a View
Curated by Trong Gia Nguyen
Duration: March 14 – April 11, 2010
Opening reception: Saturday March 13 at 7 pm
Artists: Hannes Bend, Joséphine Wister Faure, Chantel Foretich, Christopher Ho, Darri Lorenzen, Abby Manock, Christian Nguyen, Zhang Qing, Rebecca Reeve, Carlos Silva
Room without View brings together a group of international artists whose works consider the ‘confines’ of space and the emotional and psychological experiences within such domains. Berlin (and by extension the Freies Museum), with its glut of alternative buildings that constantly shift utility, presents an opportune place to investigate these shifting limits inherent in domestic space, landscape, and public architecture.
Looking at space from a focal-point of scale, the miniature reconstructions of both Chantel Foretich and Joséphine Wister Faure tell different stories. While Foretich’s low-tech re-creations of nostalgic rooms and buildings are inviting and appeal immediately to the senses with their romantic music-box mechanics, Faure’s Last Witness series of noire, peep-hole dioramas deny the viewer entry, assigning them to the role of a helpless voyeur.
In the domestic sphere, Hannes Bend’s Curtain replicates a large window drapery, albeit one made of dense candy that will not sway with the breeze. The playful twist of material/consumption joins in an impeding, brick wall-like object. Walls of course, can keep us secure or entrapped. Rebecca Reeve’s photographic series The Long Goodbye chronicles an old man who has not left his room in three years. Magnifying this sense of confinement, but at the same time liberating it, Zhang Qing’s 6-channel video Football Field 603 depicts an all-out soccer game played inside the artist’s tiny apartment.
In a different mode of construction, Abby Manocks’s Daly City is a triangular installation of colored, labeled cardboard boxes that hints not only at the “building blocks” related to storage and accumulation, but also movement within space both real and digitized, a la the old arcade game Qbert.
Going “outside,” Christopher Ho’s Mondrian Automata is a series of automatic paintings that reconsider the point at which landscape became abstraction in the 20th century. This conceptual dimension of space is also mined in the wall drawings of Christian Nguyen, who lets architectural logic light the way in his perspective renderings that lead one’s eye to the focal point and astray, literally and otherwise.
Meanwhile, neither here nor there, Carlos Silva uses the Freies Museum’s windows to produce a work on transparent acrylic panels that explore identity within the “urban perspective.”
Last but not least, Darri Lorenzen’s radial swinging light bulb suggests a hide-and-seek dynamic inherent within spaces big and small, as shadows cast by the light recede and magnify.
Room without a View is part of a collaborative exhibition, entitled Satellites, along with two other shows, Satellites in the Night, curated by Hannes Bend and To The Thawing Wind, curated by Emilie Trice.