The power of the collective lies in their ability to transform any object, space or experience into quintessential Gelitin and the iconic Mona Lisa is no exception. In the Mona Lisa series, Leonardo da Vinci’s masterpiece is put through various iterations and the resulting outcome is a distorted, unhuman-like yet recognizable representation of the veritable art historical canon in its bare vulnerability. The malleability of the plasticines that are used to mold the Mona Lisas further stresses upon her frailty. Gelitin reminds us that art, as with life, is fragile and ephemeral, that nothing is eternal.
Getlitin is comprised of Wolfgang Gantner, Ali Janka, Florian Reither, and Tobias Urban. The four artists met in 1978 at a summer camp, where they began to collaborate. Gelitin, however, only officially formed and began exhibiting as a collective in 1993. Their projects make use of a variety of mediums, including performance, installation, sculpture, and new media. These are united in their purpose to question the traditional relationship between an artwork and its spectators or context. Many of the group’s works invite audience members to participate in creating, or sometimes destroying, the work. Gelitin tellingly and aptly called its 2005 project “Sweatwat” at Gagosian Gallery a “humongous implosion, sucking you into deep and profound chaos, instability, joy and pure wonder. It offers visitors a chance to relax, paddle and freak out.”
Austrian, Established 1993, based in Vienna, Austria