The project took its inspiration from Yves Klein’s famous photograph “Le Saut dans le vide” (1960). In Klein’s work, the heroin is shown flinging his body into the void in an almost majestic manner, seemingly defying gravity. In a contrasting manner, each member of Gelitin can be seen dumping his body into the filthy Venetian canals over and over again, beating to death the enchantment of the fall inherent in Klein’s photograph.
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