carlier |gebauer is pleased to present a solo exhibition with Paul Pfeiffer. Three Figures in a Room will be the artist’s first exhibition in Berlin since his landmark show at Hamburger Bahnhof in 2009. The Saints used the controversial 1966 World Cup Final between England and West Germany as a sort of “found text” through which to stage the fundamental dynamics of crowds, nationalism, religion, and mass media spectacle. Pfeiffer’s work reconfigured this contested sporting event through radically reducing the scale of the image and isolating the sounds of the game—spatializing spectacle as a condition to be inhabited.
Pfeiffer’s forthcoming exhibition with carlier | gebauer extends the artist’s investigation of the aura that surrounds certain mass media events and images. While The Saints diminished the heroism of players in an iconic historical match by isolating them and shrinking them, Three Figures in a Room proposes a return to the large-scale image. The exhibition will present three new videos that, when viewed together, distill a contemporary boxing match to its essential elements: movement, light, and sound. The show recreates the much-touted match between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao. Billed as the “fight of the century,” the event was held in Las Vegas last spring. It was predicted to be the highest grossing boxing match of all time and nearly half of all households in Pacquiao’s native Philippines tuned into to watch the fight. By focusing on how the image renders the boxers objects rather than subjects, Pfeiffer stages the “otherness” of the image through an artistic investigation that examines, resists, and exploits spectacle by honing in on and isolating representational codes that otherwise tend to enthrall the viewer.
Paul Pfeiffer (b.1966) lives and works in New York City. Selected solo exhibitions include Vitruvian Figure, Museum of Contemporary Art and Design (MCAD), Manila; Jerusalem, Artangel, London; The Saints, Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin; and Monologue, MUSAC, León. Pfeiffer’s works have also been included in international, large-scale exhibitions such as the Venice Biennale, Biennale of Sydney, Busan Biennale, Cairo Biennale, and Whitney Biennial, as well as group exhibitions at prestigious venues such as Castello Rivoli, Turin; LACMA, Los Angeles; Whitechapel Art Gallery, London; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; 2001:49th Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy; P.S.1/MoMA, New York; Haus der Kunst, Munich; and Mori Museum, Tokyo.