Magna Carta Shelf Life
Opening: Saturday, 13.2.16, 17–22 h
3 ½ exists on the borderline between a space and a sculpture. In a series of three episodes, Magna Carta Shelf Life investigates the exhibition format as a layered mise-en-scène, a stage of inherited contexts, shared at once by the artist, curator, institution, and architecture, each of which is a distinctly motivated protagonist. What kind of performative potential does such an environment hold?
For each edition, artists present site-specific works, critically engaging with the constraints of objects and display materials from KW’s previous exhibitions, culled from its backstage of closets and storage rooms; spaces not unlike 3 ½. Examining site and surrounding institution as sculptural narrative, the series’ politics of production and modes of display highlight the dramatic tension that exists at the intersection of limitation and artistic intent.
Curated by Kate Brown
Magna Carta Shelf Life #1
Even Cowboys get the Blues
The first edition, Alex Turgeon’s Even Cowboys get the Blues, considers the individual against the allegories of the everyday by focusing on the melancholic characteristics within the narrative of the cowboy. Operating as an individual separated from society, either by intention or condition, the archetype of the cowboy is described as a free and independent figure who roams the earth with reckless and existential abandon. The exhibition looks to challenge the desire to maintain an individual mythology and singularity in relation to contemporary social networks. Even Cowboys get the Blues poeticizes relationships between the romantic fictions and realities of the modern day rhinestone cowboy.
Magna Carta Shelf Life #2
With Mouth Agape Laughing Guts Out
Opening: Saturday, 19.3.16, 18–21 h, accompanied by a performance by Alex Turgeon and a screening by Eva Vuillemin.
For the second edition of Magna Carta Shelf Life, Eva Vuillemin’s installation With Mouth Agape Laughing Guts Out explores the body as both subject and setting. Working with bodies at the border of attraction and repulsion as an ongoing current in her work, the exhibition brings the inner parts of the body to the forefront – namely the entirety of the digestive tract. Running the entire length of the body, it is the threshold between inside and outside, a transformative site of solid and liquid, proper and improper, ultimately symbolizing the turbulent, unconscious chaos in juxtaposition to the rational mind, according to the artist’s research. Examining the body as autonomous fragments, what was once familiar becomes suddenly threatening and alien.
With Mouth Agape Laughing Guts Out by Eva Vuillemin is supported
by Dino Rohr und Kanal GmbH & CO. KG and eis.de GmbH.
Drawn, Quartered, Hog Tailed & Tied: Frankenstein's Monster at the Rodeo
In conclusion to his exhibition at 3 ½ Even Cowboys Get the Blues, Alex Turgeon performs a new work in the Chora of Kunst-Werke. Drawing on topics from his recent exhibition, the performance Drawn, Quartered, Hog Tailed & Tied: Frankenstein's Monster at the Rodeo explores the allegories and relationships between antiquated terminology to contemporary appearances of the body. Where the physical form is decapitated, dismembered and literally quartered into parts via images from online platforms like Grindr and Scruff, Turgeon parallels the structure of livestock auctions, where animals are likewise quantified by various checks and balances, where parts are also valued over the whole. Reworking fragments of folklore along the terms of how language is expressed, manipulated and distributed through contemporary channels of social and media networks, these antiquated allegorical idioms find themselves a new, potent relevancy to social systems today.
Sind es Deine Hände oder meine Hände, ich weiß es nicht mehr.
For her new video work, in correlation to her exhibition With Mouth Agape Laughing Guts Out on view at 3 ½, Eva Vuillemin creates an image constellation of extreme conditions, examining the body as autonomous fragments in a tense state of vulnerability. Alternating between voyeur from behind the camera and a subject herself, Vuillemin searches for the pure concentration of the gaze. Ultimately, through a poetic tableaux of near still-lifes, Sind es Deine Hände oder meine Hände, ich weiß es nicht mehr. thins the psychological barrier between the internal and external body, privacy and exposé, subject and object, as well as desire and disgust. Screening throughout the evening in the Chora alongside the setting of Alex Turgeon's performance, both artists explore the body as a fragile site where drama and semantics are exerted upon it, within the voyeuristic space of the public.
The video work will be presented in loop throughout the entire evening.
Magna Carta Shelf Life #3
Hungry for Touch
Opening: 15.4.16, 19–21 h
For the final installation of the exhibition series Magna Carta Shelf Life, German artist Felix Oehmann’s maximal installation challenges the constraints of 3 ½. Hungry for Touch dominates our view with its scale and rawness. Playing with flatness, dimensionality and ever-searching for the tipping point inherent in material, Oehmann creates a tension and heightens our most physical sense of being present. Appropriating culturally ubiquitous objects – a chair, a slice of cake, a t-shirt – the artist finds profoundness and radical states within simple, under-considered forms, setting them free from their own aesthetic or functional rules, and questioning their powers of representation.