Fwd: Disparate Threads! False Endings! (Schere & Kette)
The exhibition “Fwd: Disparate Threads! False Endings! (Schere & Kette)” by Tyrolean-born, Vienna-based artist Christian Egger, integrates a series of mostly new sculptures that are tailored to the gallery space. The works expose their materiality while barely disguising their design, in some cases simulating haptic effects. Such as a glass rail deliberately installed higher than eye-level lined with “blind tasting glasses”, which, beyond their function of concealing their liquid contents, are presented here empty, as a sight to behold from below. One of several moments of perceptual irritation, which is also redeemed in an early piece by the artist: a toilet roll holder laden with CDs. Here Egger demonstrates the rapid transience of our ideas about ideal media storage, while the readymade short circuit offers more than just a collage-like release from an object’s original use; it drives yet another invisible wedge between familiar form and actual function. Art historian Benjamin H. D. Buchloh once remarked: “The allegorical mind sides with the object and protests against its devaluation to the status of a commodity by devaluating it a second time in allegorical practice. In the splintering of signifier and signified, the allegorist subjects the sign to the same division of functions that the object has undergone in its transformation into a commodity. The repetition of the original act of depletion and the new attribution of meaning redeems the object.”1 “Fwd: Disparate Threads! False Endings! (Schere & Kette)” is infused with this allegorical approach and presents itself as the synthesis of artistic considerations and interventions in a contextual relationship, which is ultimately disrupted again and again in the back room of the gallery by a text read in an English voice playing through a mirrored table sculpture. The various allusions and references in the text to works in the exhibition – including the spoken piece itself – make the mediating tendencies of the audio work seem diametrical in intent. Language allows for a conceptual experience of the exhibition, leading us to reflect on the situational interplay between the works, exhibition, and audience. As such, we might also see “Fwd: Disparate Threads! False endings! (Schere & Kette)” as a multi-perspective invitation to trace the acute tumult between the work and the gallery space, the connection and cut.
1) Benjamin H. D. Buchloh, "Allegorical Procedures: Appropriation and Montage in Contemporary Art", in: Artforum, Vol. 21, Nr. 1, September 1982, p. 43-56
Sujet: © Christian Egger
Photos: © Verena Nagl