MADER | STUBLIC | WIERMANN(Video Installations). Art Claims Impulse, Berlin
October 18 through November 8, 2008
In After Effects at Art Claims Impulse, an event produced in collaboration with the Media Facades Festival, the artists Holger Mader and Alexander Stublic and the architect Heike Wiermann show three new video installations created specifically for the space and documentation of a number of public projects in various cities.
On the pavement outside the gallery a dramatic splash of light announces the show (Spot II). Whilst in the rear room beamers spool evolving abstract shapes across a corner (The Picture). In the main space the projections are cropped to the glass of the window, forming a schematic curtain from which occasional interiors emerge and recede (Glimpse).
Elsewhere a series of photographs document a 2008 project for SESC Sao Paulo, Folder Space, in which the artists collaborate on building sized light installations, turning walkways into crenellated sci-fi gantries.
These (sanctioned) interventions are also presented in the video lounge. In these pieces oscillating grids of light sweep across the planes of high rise developments, folding the space in on itself and realigning its geometry. Architecture becomes a fluid phenomena, constantly metamorphosing to the indifference of the traffic which flows around it.
Taking their thesis to its literal conclusion it is possible to re-imagine the cityscape as a writhing information flow, in which pure light can be used to constantly remap public, as well as corporate, space. Far from seeing this as a benignly Utopian vision (the reality of its deployment is often manifest in large corporate developments attempting to create an artificial sense of place, or theatre, on the cheap) these light shows have a tendency to fade in the daylight and reveal the poverty of the structures they illuminate. The city as dreamscape waking up to the harsh economic hangover of hasty over-development.
Mader, Stublic and Wiermann remain committed to an aesthetic which is at once playful and ultraformalist, their worldview seems optimistic but seeing this exhibition it is hard not to think of the ultra banal light shows and constant advertising hoarding sized TVs the new O2 world has treated Berlin to.
More positively their interventions are also somewhat reminiscent of Der Haus der Blinken Lights (Chaos Computer Club, 2003) in which the collective installed interactive lights in every floor of the Haus Des Lehrers (a Soviet era building near Alexanderplatz) and invited mobile users who knew the code to participate in a giant game of Pong.
Alexander Stublic will speak at the ART FORUM BERLIN, 01. November 2008, 3pm, on “The Public Gaze – Architecture as Place of Art and Media”