take me to

2 April - 27 June 2020


  • This Viewing Room offers a deeper insight into the oeuvre of the exhibited artists and the works of the exhibition...

    This Viewing Room offers a deeper insight into the oeuvre of the exhibited artists and the works of the exhibition take me to, it provides further information and invites you as a viewer to take a closer look.

     

    take me to brings together seven international artists of different generations – Niko Abramidis & NE, Neïl Beloufa, Nina Canell, Brigitte Kowanz, Haroon Mirza, Gabriel Rico and Keith Sonnier – whose works have in common the use of abstract materials that are mostly technology-based and involve their viewers in an immediate way. Despite their autonomy, the works function as social and informational connectors. The title affirmatively references both the continuation of a previous conceptual direction of the gallery and, in its openness, a future to be created and defined. The majority of artists will be featured again in focussed, in-depth presentations.

     

    Installation view | take me to | Photo: Christian Kain

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  • Niko Abramidis &NE

  • Niko Abramidis &NE (*1987 in Munich, DE) opens a multifaceted spectrum with his art, dealing with economic structures in regard...

    Niko Abramidis &NE (*1987 in Munich, DE) opens a multifaceted spectrum with his art, dealing with economic structures in regard to future utopias. In his paintings, drawings, sculptures and installations, the artist creates parallel universes in which he creates fictitious corporate identities and appropriates forms of expression from financial economics. He utilizes the habitus of the financial economy and imposes his artistic ideas of myth and literary fiction in a language game of signs, symbols and ciphers. In doing so, Abramidis creates semiotic forms of archaic-like symbolism paired with sketchy drawings, assembled into artistic works using cutting-edge technologies. With these tools Abramidis unfolds a cryptography of the present: a joyful science of contemporary capitalism.¹ In 2019 Niko Abramidis &NE was awarded the ars viva Prize for Fine Arts, awarded annually by the Kulturkreis der deutschen Wirtschaft im BDI e.V.. In 2019, his works were shown in group exhibitions at the Kunstmuseum Bern and at the KAI 10 | Arthena Foundation in Dusseldorf.

     


    ¹ Vgl. Imdahl, Georg: Glob. Econ. Mythos und Metaxis in der Arbeit von Niko Abramidis &NE, in: Kat. Ausst. Ars Viva 2019, Kerber Bielefeld/Berlin (2018), p. 35-41. 

    Photo: NA&NE

  • The wall sculpture Cryptic Machine Prototype A(2018) by the Munich artist Niko Abramidis &NE reflects his constant preoccupation with economic structures. The work is inspired by massive steel plates that New York construction workers use to quickly repair the metropolis' road damage. The hot-rolled steel surface, out of which which blue light emerges through meticulously cut openings, as well as an embedded pinpad and a screen, provide clues to its function as an ATM in which past and future time merge: the gloomy "machine" seems to come from an apocalyptic future in which the former functionality has disappeared and is no longer comprehensible. Carved emblems, such as Ωand ∑above the slits give possible clues as to its purpose: the pinpad could activate the machine and the screen above it could show an image film of a long since insolvent bank. The engraved initials NE stand above it like a company logo and are at the same time the signature of the artist.

     

    Cryptic Machine Prototype A was part of the exhibition “ars viva. MYST ECON“ im Kai 10 Arthena Foundation, Düsseldorf in 2019. Abramidis &NE presented an installation reminiscent of office spaces in which the artist creates fictitious corporate identities and appropriates forms of expression from the financial economy. In a language game of signs, symbols and ciphers, he creates parallel universes in his art that draw a picture of our present.

  • The wall sculpture Cryptic Machine Prototype A (2018) by the artist Niko Abramidis &NE reflects his constant preoccupation with economic...

    The wall sculpture Cryptic Machine Prototype A (2018) by the artist Niko Abramidis &NE reflects his constant preoccupation with economic structures. The work is inspired by massive steel plates that New York construction workers use to quickly repair the metropolis' road damage. The hot-rolled steel surface, out of which which blue light emerges through meticulously cut openings, as well as an embedded pinpad and a screen, provide clues to its function as an ATM in which past and future time merge: the gloomy "machine" seems to come from an apocalyptic future in which the former functionality has disappeared and is no longer comprehensible. Carved emblems, such as Ω and ∑ above the slits give possible clues as to its purpose: the pinpad could activate the machine and the screen above it could show an image film of a long since insolvent bank. The engraved initials NE stand above it like a company logo and are at the same time the signature of the artist.

    Cryptic Machine Prototype A was part of the exhibition "ars viva. MYST ECON" im Kai 10 Arthena Foundation, Düsseldorf in 2019. Abramidis &NE presented an installation reminiscent of office spaces in which the artist creates fictitious corporate identities and appropriates forms of expression from the financial economy. In a language game of signs, symbols and ciphers, he creates parallel universes in his art that draw a picture of our present.

  • Paintings
  • Neïl Beloufa

  • CANS ON BROWN, 2019 Neïl Beloufa's relief-like wall piece Cans on Brown (2019) from the Vintage series is an interplay...
    CANS ON BROWN, 2019

    Neïl Beloufa's relief-like wall piece Cans on Brown (2019) from the Vintage series is an interplay of the most diverse forms and materials. In addition to a curving, organic leather structure reminiscent of a hand or glove, there are, as the title suggests, crushed beverage cans arranged on a sand-colored wooden background. The cans are testimonies to the presence of people and our consumer behavior in a globalized world. Not only the consumption of goods, but also media consumption becomes visible here. Conspicuously embedded in the stainless-steel base is a socket that promises access to electricity and thus, in the digital age, the connection to media and permanent availability. As multi-layered and paradoxical as this may seem, Beloufa's art serves not only in the figurative sense of networking, but concretely as an invitation to actively connect mobile devices to the electric circuit. Beloufa, who often uses materials and techniques in his works that contain visible technological components, he juxtaposes the technical aspects with the conspicuous material mix of wood, leather and metal. The combination of electricity, paired with the roughly worked wooden surface and the soft, curved leather, creates a dramatic composition that culminates in the clash of these contrasting materials and, together with the relief-like structure of the boxes, creates a relief that is literally full of tension.

  • Dylan's rendez-vous, 2019 At first glance, the relief-like wall work Dylan's rendez-vous (2019) by the French-Algerian artist Neïl Beloufa depicts...
    Dylan's rendez-vous, 2019

    At first glance, the relief-like wall work Dylan's rendez-vous (2019) by the French-Algerian artist Neïl Beloufa depicts an apparently ordinary beach scene. A colorfully striped bath towel lies spread out on the sand, while in the background rushing waves spill onto shore. Upon second glance, this supposed holiday paradise is spoiled: the outlines of objects  under the towel and the sand are clearly visible: crushed plastic bottles and a beverage can. Immediately they evoke images of heavily soiled beaches flooded with plastic and garbage, which quickly cloud the fantasy of a dream holiday. They are testimonies to the presence of people and our consumer behavior in a globalized world. Not only the consumption of goods is made apparent, also media consumption is a central theme in this work: Conspicuously embedded in the sand is a socket promising access to electricity and thus, in the digital age, the connection to media and permanent availability. As multi-layered and paradoxical as this may seem, Beloufa's art serves not only in the figurative sense of networking, but concretely as an invitation to actively connect mobile devices to the electric circuit. Beloufa, who often uses materials and techniques in his works that contain visible technological components, he juxtaposes the technical aspects with the bold colors of dyed MDF and the bright mustard yellow and pink of the leather, which nestles wonderfully against the structured wooden background and allows this technoid relief to shine.

  • Interview with Neïl Beloufa | SCHIRN Kunsthalle 2018

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    In his video works, sculptures and installations, the French-Algerian artist Neïl Beloufa (*1985 in Paris, FR) creates a poetry of the abyss that fuses fiction with reality. His artistic work revolves around questions of cause and effect, presence and absence and the interpretation of the same, without moral judgement, cultural cynicism or irony. Beloufa utilizes a wide variety of materials and techniques in his work, including visible technological components and digital devices such as flip switches, sockets and monitors. He was nominated for the Prix Marcel Duchamp in 2015 as well as the Nam June Paik Award in 2016. His work has been the subject of numerous monographic exhibitions, notably at Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt (2018), Museum of Modern Art, New York (2016) and the Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2012 and 2018). Neïl Beloufa took part in the 55th and 58th Venice Biennale (2013 and 2019) as well as the Lyon Biennale (2013).

     

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    Credits: Courtesy of the Artist and François Ghebaly, Los Angeles | Photo: Polly Thomas

  • Nina Canell

  • Swedish artist Nina Canell (*1979 in Vaxjö, SE) explores the potential of hidden objects and materials meant for the useage...

    Swedish artist Nina Canell (*1979 in Vaxjö, SE) explores the potential of hidden objects and materials meant for the useage of forwarding or saving knowledge and technological processes. Canell transforms sliced power- and fiber optic cables, unwound wire coils or exposed electrical wires into sculptural arrangements. Her interest in the contemporary advances of data transmission, the physical properties of data carriers themselves and their indiscernible internal processes is rooted in the questioning of memory and knowledge. Her conviction is that there is no mediation without loss, neither between solid objects nor living things. Her sculptural process reveals the hidden process of transmission, at the same time questioning the integrity of the object with synthetic and organic materials. Nina Canell exhibited in the Nordic Pavilion at the 57th Venice Biennale in 2017. In 2019 the Kunstmuseum St. Gallen and the Kunsthalle Baden-Baden both showed solo exhibitions of the artist.

  • Nina Canell Cucumbery, 2018 Central processing units circa 11 x 5 cm circa 4 3/8 x 2 inches Photo: Dirk...
    Nina Canell
    Cucumbery, 2018
     
    Central processing units
    circa 11 x 5 cm
    circa 4 3/8 x 2 inches
     
    Photo: Dirk Tacke
  • Nina Canell's work Cucumbery (2018) is symbolic of her interest in knowledge transfer and memory. In her artistic works, Canell...

    Nina Canell's work Cucumbery (2018) is symbolic of her interest in knowledge transfer and memory. In her artistic works, Canell uncovers hidden communication units in order to investigate questions of collective memory. Taken from the casing of computer hardware, Cucumbery reveals the heart of every computer: The central processing unit (CPU). Cucumbery is part of a series of works in which the artist exhibits used CPU disks as wall objects - often in combination with cucumber slices. In this work, two brighter spots on the dark CPU plates refer to the absent cucumber slices. In this way Canell brings together two seemingly mismatching components in her work. The artist does not distinguish between technical and biological storage units, as they are both based upon the same principle. A cucumber carries energy and knowledge just like a processor unit. Her conviction is that there is no transfer of data and knowledge without changes in its contents. Every object is shaped by and shapes the knowledge it has come into contact with. Works from the Cucumber series were shown in the exhibitions "Energy Budget" at the S.M.A.K Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst in Gent, BE (2018) and "Muscle Memory" at the Staatliche Kunsthalle Baden-Baden, DE (2020).

     

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    Photo: Dirk Tacke

  • Nina Canell | Reflexologies | Kunstmuseum St. Gallen | arttv | 2018

  • Brigitte Kowanz

  • Brigitte Kowanz Discover, 2017 LED and acrylic glass 145 x 100 x 10 cm 57 1/8 x 39 3/8 x...
    Brigitte Kowanz
    Discover, 2017
     
    LED and acrylic glass
    145 x 100 x 10 cm
    57 1/8 x 39 3/8 x 4 inches
     
    Photo: Dirk Tacke
     
  • “What interests me about language is that it creates or constructs reality, just as light makes it visible. Therein is...

    “What interests me about language is that it creates or constructs reality, just as light makes it visible. Therein is a closeness that explains why both of them are often parallel or redundant and tautological in my work. By bringing them together, they make each other visible. Morse code is comprised of elementary forms: lines and dots, circles and rectangles, short and long. But it is also interesting that it contains precisely this binary system, which functions in different ways, as light signals, acoustic signals or graphic codes. It is a very minimal language, with which any complexity can still be represented. The information transfer takes place in the space between on and off, light and shadow."¹ - Brigitte Kowanz

     


    ¹ “Brigitte Kowanz. Portrait. Codierungen in Licht. Gespräch mit Maximilian Geymüller“, in: Spike Art Quarterly, Summer 2017, Nr. 52, print

     

    Photo: Mato Johannik

  • For the Austrian artist Brigitte Kowanz (*1957 in Vienna, AT) Light is the primary artistic medium. She continuously examines the...

    For the Austrian artist Brigitte Kowanz (*1957 in Vienna, AT) Light is the primary artistic medium. She continuously examines the different qualities and manifestations of light in objects, installations and spatial interventions using various illuminants. The medium of light is thereby made tangible and treated as an autonomous phenomenon, material and information carrier, thus a metaphor for a search for new forms to portray a visible reality. In her works, political statements and information transference merge with a formal aesthetic to illustrate that light is not only a neutral vehicle for information, but also plays a decisive role in shaping it. Kowanz was awarded the “Große Österreichische Staatspreis” in 2009 and represented Austria at the 57th Venice Biennial in 2017. Since 1997 she has been a tenured professor at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna. In 2020, the Museum Haus Konstruktiv in Zurich is dedicating an expansive solo exhibition to the artist.

  • The wall work f (2020) by the Austrian artist Brigitte Kowanz refers - like many of her works - to... The wall work f (2020) by the Austrian artist Brigitte Kowanz refers - like many of her works - to...

    The wall work (2020) by the Austrian artist Brigitte Kowanz refers - like many of her works - to her longstanding involvement with the binary Morse code, which she uses as a formal element as well as a transmitter of a second level of meaning in her works. forms part of the work group Reflections, in which the works - consisting of aluminum, reflective foil and a transparent varnish applied by the artist - emphasizing the painterly qualities of light. Light is not an element inherent to the pictures, but the reflective surface of the works are activated by parallel illumination. The works also have a participatory factor: the effect can be further intensified by lighting with the viewer's smartphone. The title of the work refers to the letter F of the Morse code alphabet. Kowanz describes her interest in this code as follows: “In Morse code, there are the elementary forms: line and dot, circle and rectangle, short and long. But it is also interesting that it contains precisely this binary system, which functions in different ways, as light signals, acoustic signals or graphic codes.” Withf, the letter is visually represented as a dot, dot, line, dot and is found again on the canvas as a graphic code that is activated by external light.

  • The wall work f (2020) by the Austrian artist Brigitte Kowanz refers - like many of her works - to...

    The wall work (2020) by the Austrian artist Brigitte Kowanz refers - like many of her works - to her longstanding involvement with the binary Morse code, which she uses as a formal element as well as a transmitter of a second level of meaning in her works. forms part of the work group Reflections, in which the works - consisting of aluminum, reflective foil and a transparent varnish applied by the artist - emphasizing the painterly qualities of light. Light is not an element inherent to the pictures, but the reflective surface of the works are activated by parallel illumination. The works also have a participatory factor: the effect can be further intensified by lighting with the viewer's smartphone. The title of the work refers to the letter F of the Morse code alphabet. Kowanz describes her interest in this code as follows: “In Morse code, there are the elementary forms: line and dot, circle and rectangle, short and long. But it is also interesting that it contains precisely this binary system, which functions in different ways, as light signals, acoustic signals or graphic codes.”¹



    ¹ Brigitte Kowanz. Portrait. Codierungen in Licht. Gespräch mit Maximilian Geymüller, in: Spike Art Quarterly, Summer 2017, Nr. 52

  • Brigitte Kowanz "Lost unter the Surface" 2020 | Exhibition at Museum Haus Konstruktiv

     

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  • Haroon Mirza

  • Haroon Mirza, Untitled Song #1, 2012

    Haroon Mirza

    Untitled Song #1, 2012
    Mixed media
    Dimension variable, ca. 300 x 200 x 200 cm
    118 1/8 x 78 3/4 x 78 3/4 inches
     
    Photo: Dirk Tacke 
    • Haroon Mirza Untitled Song #1 (Detail), 2012 Mixed media Dimension variable, ca. 300 x 200 x 200 cm 118 1/8...

      Haroon Mirza

      Untitled Song #1 (Detail)2012
      Mixed media
      Dimension variable, ca. 300 x 200 x 200 cm
      118 1/8 x 78 3/4 x 78 3/4 inches
      Photo: Dirk Tacke
  • About the series

    The installation Untitled Song featuring Untitled Works by James Clarkson (2012) by the British-Pakistani artist Haroon Mirza consists of six autonomous sculptures that fuse light, sound and objects into a multi-layered sensory experience. Each sculpture is an assemblage of various components such as found retro furniture, loudspeakers, drum parts and LEDs, which are assembled in a DIY aesthetic with each generating its own lo-fi sound. Mirza sees himself as a composer who uses sculptures as instruments, allowing them to interact with each other in unusual ways and thus creating sound worlds and spaces that move between analog and digital, sound and image, sculpture and music. Some sculptures have been created in collaboration with the British artist James Clarkson (*1987 Liverpool, UK) and were last exhibited in 2012 at Bonniers Konsthall in Stockholm, SE and at Spike Island in Bristol, UK.

  • The British-Pakistani artist Haroon Mirza (*1977 in London, UK) sees himself first and foremost as a composer: by creating unique...

    The British-Pakistani artist Haroon Mirza (*1977 in London, UK) sees himself first and foremost as a composer: by creating unique instruments made of household electronic items, turntables, records, LEDs, furniture and assembling them with fragments of video footage, pop-culture references to create a distinct body of works that fuses light, sound and objects into a complex sensory experience. His installations ask viewers to reconsider the perceptual distinctions between noise, sound and music, and to question the categorization of cultural and artistic forms. The artist is particularly interested in the relationship between object and exhibition space, referring to Minimal Art in the process. In 2011 Mirza received the Silver Lion Award at the 54th Venice Biennale and in 2014 was awarded the Nam June Paik Art Center Prize. He has had solo exhibitions at the New Museum, New York (2012); Museum Tinguely, Basel, Switzerland (2015); and the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne (2019), among others.

     

    Photo: Haroon Mirza (April, 2020)

  • Studio Visit at Haroon Mirza | TateShots

     

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  • Gabriel Rico

  • 'I try to create pieces that fragment the composition of the contemporary human being and evidencing the geometric imperfection in...

    "I try to create pieces that fragment the composition of the contemporary human being and evidencing the geometric imperfection in nature...".

     

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    Photo: Guillaume Ziccarelli | Perrotin

     

  • Gabriel Rico, VII -Hipótesis del equilibrio local-, 2018

    Gabriel Rico

    VII -Hipótesis del equilibrio local-, 2018
    Natural sponge, deer rib, porcupine spine, handmade rope, branch, neon, glass coke, volcanic stone and feather
    50 x 190 x 30 cm
    19 3/4 x 74 3/4 x 11 3/4 inches
     
    Photo: Studio Gabriel Rico
  • In VII -Hipótesis del equilibrio local- (2018), Mexican artist Gabriel Rico creates a light sculpture from an unusual combination of...

    In VII -Hipótesis del equilibrio local- (2018), Mexican artist Gabriel Rico creates a light sculpture from an unusual combination of organic, technical and everyday materials: Natural sponge, a deer rib, a porcupine spine, handmade rope, a branch, neon, one glass Coke bottle, volcanic stone and a feather. The different components playfully merge into each other and create a circuit that seems to be connected by an electric cable. The glowing neon light stands in stark contrast to the finely crafted details made of natural materials. The construction is supported by a symbol of everyday capitalist consumption, the Coca-Cola bottle. The sculpture is part of the series Hipotesis del equilibrio local and refers to the hypothetical possibility of achieving a balance in the interaction of several components. Fascinated by physical laws and philosophical theses, Rico deconstructs various aspects of the everyday world in this series of works and reassembles them in a post-surrealistic approach. In this way, he brings the materials - without any obvious relationship to one another – of the sculpture into a balanced interplay.

  • Gabriel Rico, XXVIII -More robust nature.. more robust geometry- (Detail), 2019 | Photo: Studio Gabriel Rico

  • Gabriel Rico's wall work XXVIII -More robust nature.. more robust geometry- (2019) is part of the Mexican artist's series of the same name. Part of this group of works was exhibited at the 59th Biennale di Venezia in 2019 in the context of the exhibition "May you live in interesting times" curated by Ralph Rugoff. In these works, contrary to the organic and "robust" character of the selected materials, Rico strives for precise geometry in. In XXVIII he combines two stones and a branch with a curved blue and white neon tube. Despite the material weight of the stones on the one hand and the ramified branch, which is also reminiscent of antlers, on the other, Rico created a balance in the composition. Through the interrelation of these seemingly dissimilar objects the artist reflects ironically and poetically on the ambivalence between nature and man-made principles of order. Rico describes these connections as a thought experiment: "I try to create pieces that fragment the composition of the contemporary human being and evidencing the geometric imperfection in nature...".¹



    ¹ gabrielrico.com

  • Keith Sonnier

  • About the series About the series

    Keith Sonnier's Stock Prop (2010) and Stock Prop Study C (2014) are sculptures from the Prop series, which the artist began in 2010 as part of a collaboration with choreographer Molissa Fenley for a ballet piece. Coordinated with the music of composer Lainie Fefferman, Sonnier developed several portable sculptures made of polystyrene, corrugated cardboard and flocking paint. Formally the sculptures respond to the human body with holes for arms, legs and head.

    Standing in the tradition of American modern dance the physically demanding choreography experimented with the movements of the body in space. The props served as an extension of the dancer’s body and at the same time, their movements were restricted by them. Like Merce Cunningham’s frequent collaboration with artists of other disciplines which had a profound impact on avant-garde art beyond the world of dance, the collaboration between Keith Sonnier and Melissa Fenley dissolved the boundaries between genres.

     

    Photo: Studio Keith Sonnier

  • In exhibitions, Stock Prop (2010) and Stock Prop Study C (2014) are installed directly to the wall, thus extending into...

    In exhibitions, Stock Prop (2010) and Stock Prop Study C (2014) are installed directly to the wall, thus extending into the gallery space as an architectural intervention while remaining objects in themselves to be activated.

    In the 1960s, Sonnier started to reflect the conventional understanding of sculpture through an unconventional selection and combination of materials - such as neon, latex, wire, satin, cheese cloth and flocking. Novel connections, relationship to the human body, the environment and their arrangement and combination form the basis of Sonnier's early works and a practice that he continues to develop. In the Stock Prop series, the artist opens his sculptural work into the performative space, going beyond the space of meaning of the material. 

     

    Photo: Dirk Tacke

  • An insight into Keith Sonnier's work | Short biography

     

  • The US American artist Keith Sonnier (*1941 in Mamou, Louisiana, US) rose to prominence in the 1960s with works that...

    The US American artist Keith Sonnier (*1941 in Mamou, Louisiana, US) rose to prominence in the 1960s with works that broadened the traditional understanding of sculpture and used everyday materials such as neon tubes, latex, foam or found industrial materials. He belongs to the generation of post-minimalists that includes Gary Kuehn, Eva Hesse, Robert Morris and Richard Serra, and is one of the first and most important artists to discover light as an independent medium. Through his continuous experimentation he creates sculptures and room installations with directly or indirectly illuminated elements. Keith Sonnier was part of the iconic exhibitions "Live in Your Head: When Attitudes Become Form" at the Kunsthalle Bern, 1969 and "Eccentric Abstraction" at the Fischbach Gallery in New York, 1966. In 2018, the Parrish Art Museum and the New Orleans Museum of Art presented comprehensive retrospectives of the artist.

     

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    Photo: Caterina Verde