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circa

Site-specific project for das weisse haus,

Vienna, 2011

 

We encounter the Grid – a man-made classification system - as a recurrent theme in our cultural history as well as in our everyday life, where it works as a tool for describing and organizing the world.

Beyond its functions as a scientific instrument, the grid – as system and structure

–also reflects a specific human view of the cosmos and the notion of a coherent world order.

 

Since 2006 the artist Belén has been dealing with “[…] recurring grids in everyday life[…]”1, from where, among other things, results in a collection of different screened notebook pages, whose different sizes and structures are put directly in relation by the artist to the respective culture and its social norms.

In this series of works the artist opens the view to the different levels and functions of the grid in the interplay between human control, the lack of control of the cosmos, two-dimensional fiction and three-dimensional real space.

 

The artist often ironically interrupts our specific view by superimposing different perspectives, but also in her own methodogical approach she changes the perspective several times.

 

The Installation “XXXXX” , also her diploma project with the artist Heimo Zobernig,

shows both on a screen, as well as on a projection on the opposite wall, a gritted flag regularly blowing in the wind. The image of the flag, actually a political symbol, is transformed through this regular structure to an ideal representation of a systemic nature without referring to any specific political or national direction.

 

Over the curved surface of the screen a further fine screened net is stretched, through its open middle part one looks at the flag blowing in the suggested three-dimensional deep space.

 

The tension between the suggested deep space, real space and the displayed twodimensionality is repeated in the image of the flag itself, its irregular, random and three dimensional movements in the wind contrast to the rigid, two dimensional regularity of the grid system.

In turn, both images relate to a threedimensional object made of styrofoam, which is based on a video still of the flag´s recording and was converted by a computer program into 3D.

 

This moment of ¨letting control out of one`s hands” as part of the artist´s creative process can in turn be seen in the context of the exhibition concept predictability.

 

A small stamp, according to the artist an object trouvé, deals in the next room through the image of a satellite – that records the earth through a grid system – with the topic of classifying and dividing the world into sections and calls therefore associations on issues of domination and conquest of territories by marking out areas.

 

A glazed screen on the wall of the next room, which is underlied by another, diagonally transposed screened constellation, reminds us, through its moldy growths, of a satellite picture of Earth´s surface and thus carries on with the subject of the human “screened” view

of the cosmos.

 

The inversion or even the cancellation of this perspective is implied by the framed poster on the opposite wall, which is divided in various segments, clearly showing signs of sun damage, and that can be interpreted, as the title of the work “3 Lightyears” suggests, as a direct influence of the cosmos on the human classification system. In the same breath a slight notion of the arbitrariness and speculativeness of human´s universe classifications is conveyed.

 

Leaning slightly offset to the framed collage consisting of a DVD, the five platonic solids, which at the same time also symbolize the five elements that make up the universe.

 

The cosmic real space is reflected in the installation “Untitled”. Site-specific floor tiles made of carboard simulate the moon´s surface. Together with the video, where a – from the artist manipulated – version of the first episode of MacGyver the attempt is made to emphasize different impressions of dimensionality.

 

Franziska Huemer-Fistelberger