We are pleased to announce the opening "From the Outside to the Inside". With this show, curated by Andreas Huber, we continue our series of exhibitions around art as a mediator between outer and inner states of being.
While the exhibition "From the Inside to the Outside", which opened in January this year, examined how emotions and feelings expressed themselves and materialised in outward appearances, "From the Outside to the Inside" explores the opposite process, namely, the inevitable dissolution of reality when it enters the world of feelings and thoughts. Harnessing the visual and tactile allure of surfaces, the works of Nazim Ünal Yilmaz, Daniel Lergon, Peter Miller, Kelly Akashi and Rosa Aiello take visitors on a journey into a hidden world of ideas, memories and sensations.
The paintings of Nazim Ünal Yilmaz act as landscapes of the soul. Their abandoned corridors and staircases speak of loneliness and melancholy but also of thrill and excitement. As ambivalent sites of encounter and anonymity, their steps lead into inscrutable darkness. Although the time and place are not specified, a hybrid object between insect and underwear, which seems to have been carelessly dropped on the stairs, points to a hotel as a place of sexual adventure and daring eroticism. The installation Hotel Principles II, in which nylon tights have been sewn together and stretched into a kind of screen structures the space and thereby actively intervenes in it. The work, owing to the material qualities of their surface, obstruct spectators’ view on what lies beyond, while at the same time arousing their curiosity. The ambivalence that marks the paintings here nds its material expression.
The nature of the surface also plays a crucial role for Daniel Lergon. In the works shown here, the Berlin-based artist, who is known for his experimental approach to painting, uses a single colour pigment based on which he develops a rich spectrum of nuances, from luminescent light green to near-black darkness. In a space devoid of gravity, the colour oats on a monochrome ground as though on water. Time seems to stand still. Forms crystallise and materialise. Only a closer look reveals the materiality and texture of the paint. An inner light seems to pulsate in Lergon’s works, which, despite their abstract forms, always contain hints at guration. By reducing colour to a single pigment, the artist lets the gestural application of paint move to the foreground, which inscribes itself on the canvas directly and personally, like fingerprints in the sand.
Directness and materiality are less prominent in the work of Peter Miller, who also creates a kind of fingerprint in his work "Vinyl Lines", though without intervening as an artist himself. Instead, he has conceived a device that graphically captures the unique structure of a vinyl record. Following the semiotic principle of an index, the grooves of the record are transcribed as ne lines onto a sheet of paper by means of a mechanical transmission system. The artist’s favourite music, fraught with memories and feelings, is thus captured as a very personal self-portrait in the form of an automatically generated trace. The trace as a xed mark also plays a crucial role in Miller’s video work "Eidola", in which he self-referentially examines the media of lm and photography in order to demystify their hidden mechanisms. "Eidola" illustrates an ancient theory of perception according to which small particles detach themselves from the object and form an image in the eye of the beholder. In keeping with this conception, Miller uses a pair of night-vision goggles that simultaneously act as a lm camera. They allow him to open a camera in the dark and to work on the undeveloped roll of lm with a laser pointer. By doing so, he creates an interaction of exposure, visibility and destruction on the very surface of the film.
While the Los Angeles-based artist Kelly Akashi also considers surfaces as mediators of meaning, her approach is essentially different. She uses predominantly materials such as wax, glass or bronze to create delicate sculptures that appeal to several senses at once. Lightness, transparency and fragility are just as important in her work as texture, surface design and material density. The glass literally exhibits the qualities of its surface. Seeing becomes feeling. At the same time, spectators experience their detached position when they see their re ection on the glass. On closer inspection, they discover winding structures hidden beneath its surface. In Akashi’s works, the process leading from the surface to the inside is thus translated literally. The hidden grasses and branches not only establish a connection between inside and outside, but also reconcile art and nature. The boundaries between the world of nature and the world of art are abolished. Air and re are further components of the artist’s works, embedded and evidenced in the organic forms of the fragile surfaces.
The video work "Amore Molesto" by the Frankfurt-based Canadian artist Rosa Aiello concludes the exhibition. Recurring motifs such as the alphabet, the seasons or nature and architecture icker over the video screen like traces that can only inscribe themselves on the screen for a fraction of a second. Aiello’s video works combine antagonistic structures without any ordering logic. Their starting point is the alphabet as the basic unit of language. Disconnected words taken from a crossword puzzle in the New York Times are spoken by a computer programme for the visually impaired, and linked to the images in the video. Language as the individual’s hallmark is depersonalised. Much of the footage was shot in Calabria, the place of birth of the artist’s father. People, places, music and objects with which she entertains a special relationship provide an insight into her personal story. By combining familiar material and arbitrary arrangement, her work walks a critical path between order and chaos, or between responsibility and carelessness.