Following Foettinger's fulminant bar installation at this year's Art Cologne VAN HORN now shows the artist for
the first time in a comprehensive solo exhibition.
In this exhibition, the public will encounter the very private – Foettinger lived and worked many years ago exactly in the rooms where the gallery is now located.
A beautiful coincidence that fits straight to the point to the Melange of Claus Foettinger's work – in which he puts his very personal biography with his cultural and political interests and the current contemporary history in an inimitable way through the meat grinder of his brain and disgorges it as omniferous photo-, video-, lamp-, chair-, desk- and bar-collage.
Föttinger has an uncanny knack to stop at the right (or just the wrong?) time in places where history is written. At the moment he stays in Turkey, his second home after Dusseldorf, where he not only experienced at first hand the refugee catastrophe, but just now the downcast coup attempt. All this and more he takes on, as if he diffuses with it, in order to share both personal and universal images with us.
Until the very last moment the installation he will reshuffle the cards in a new and different way. We all can be looking forward to a surprising and challenging show, which takes place in the middle of the artist's former bedroom and study.
" ... Claus Föttinger understands his works as "social sculpture" that explicitly shouldn't only be looked upon but should be put to use in order to fulfil their function as a work of art. Certainly in the wake of the idea of "social sculpture", a concept shaped by Joseph Beuys, the artwork arises therefore from the Interaction between artist and recipient; it is defined as a meeting and communication place and used for social interactions ... " 1
" ... In his works every detail is carefully considered, designed, selected. Furniture and walls are used in the bars as a carrier of image programs that indeed are to be understood as modern formulations of those facility-cycles in which in past centuries churches, castles and palaces were adorned. Furthermore every object, which seems to be based on a purely functional use, receives in combination with the other elements of his work its precise iconographic significance ... " 2
" ... In his work Claus Foettinger brings topics of historical significance, medialised imaginary worlds of press and film industry that shape our everyday perception, but also observations from everyday life into a complex connection in the smallest space ... " 3
" ... yet the artist succeeds ... to create complex panoramas of the cultural history of the 20th and 21st centuries. In his works the historical, social and cultural "exterior " is shifted in an interior, which prompts the beholder for mundane use, but also for the much-needed debate on the current state of our society. " 4
Foettinger work is communicative, welcoming ,sharing, generous ,indivisible with his life. It can look very cool and yet is very warm. It touches the human in us. Maybe that is exactly what makes his work so virulent in these times. In this exhibition, we are all Foettinger's guests. He will host us at his bar – with drinks, talks ,thoughts and figures. Pure joy. From Dusseldorf into the world.
1 , 2 , 3 , 4 Excerpts from a text by Petra Gordüren, Kunsthalle Kiel 2003 (translation VAN HORN)