Because the lights exit within the top-floor area of Esther Schipper’s Berlin gallery, the guests’ chatter grows a little bit quieter. Some folks audibly suck of their breath. When the lights come again on after just a few seconds, the voices once more develop louder and extra assured. These small ruptures will repeat a few occasions that night time, with out clarification. They’re intentional, as they forestall Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster’s present Panoramism and the Summary Sector, which is accompanied by an ambient sound piece by Julien Perez, from turning into an excessively cozy area. In addition they provide transient moments for reflection.
Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, or DGF, as she is usually identified, typically makes exhibitions about shows, and this one takes on the type of a panorama. A seamlessly assembled semicircle is made up of twelve panels, whose colours—crimson, blue, yellow—bleed onto the custom-made carpet. Strewn about are cushions resembling oversize books, all with reproductions of precise covers printed on them, for example Walter Benjamin’s One Means Road (1928, English translation 1978), Okwui Enwezor’s The Quick Century (2001), and Isabelle Graw’s The Love of Portray (2018). This can be a studying listing materialized, and, certainly, the present is conceived as a celebration of artists, writers, and thinkers.
DGF’s panorama, in contrast to its historic predecessors, doesn’t depict an impressive panorama or a heroic battle. It’s a collage that includes a whole lot of people, creating an impact a bit just like the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper cowl.1 The imagery calls for to be learn. Particulars of a drawing by Victor Hugo have been enlarged in order to be almost unrecognizable, then overlaid with a portray of the Austrian actress and singer Lotte Lenya and a photograph of Summary Expressionist Lee Krasner in sun shades. Murals by Diego Rivera are referenced. Irma Vep, the titular character of Les Vampires (1915), taken up in a movie and a current TV present by Olivier Assayas, makes a number of appearances. Rei Kawakubo, Hans Ulrich Obrist, and Renée Inexperienced are only a few extra of the artists and intellectuals, deceased and alive (a whole lot of them with a connection to Berlin), featured as discovered photos cropped, organized, and printed on linen. Solely the lots who have a good time the autumn of the Berlin Wall stay nameless and faceless.
The panels testify to a horror vacui, and the teeming figures give rise to many storylines. The historical past of abstraction is advised and retold, starting with Barbara Honywood, a reputation that often has no place on this grand narrative. It’s taken up by Mark Rothko, after which Krasner, who has turn into synonymous with a brand new curiosity in feminine artists heretofore eclipsed by male lovers and friends.
Panoramism and the Summary Sector is the third iteration of DGF’s sample-based panoramas. The primary one was proven at Secession in Vienna in 2021, and the second opened in spring 2022 on the Serpentine Galleries in London. Each had been equally organized. The set up in London, titled Alienarum 5, had a tangerine carpet and appeared womb-like, its psychedelic setup according to the artist’s query: “What if aliens had been in love with us?” (which she requested in an introductory video for the present, smirkingly).
The panorama evokes an aquarium or planetarium—different types of show involved with the creation of worlds. The primary historic panoramas had been arrange in London in 1793, however these synthetic pictorial environments actually got here to outline the following century. Midway between portray and structure, museum show and cinema, they occupy an odd place. In hindsight, they seem as an aberration of artwork historical past, a gimmick. However they exhibit that methods of seeing have a historical past, too. DGF’s model of the medium picks up the outdated modernist methods of shock, fragmentation, and collage.
The previous two years, says the artist, have modified her notion of area: she has begun to consider it as a collective factor. Her panorama slows down notion, calls for to be learn, and fosters a pleasurable engagement that provides rise to fascinating conversations, probably. The perform of panoramas has lengthy been taken over by extra environment friendly narrative codecs. Cinema tells tales, TV reveals inform them in a different way, video video games are higher at creating immersive worlds. However what would have occurred if the panorama had claimed some autonomy? The place would exhibition making have gone? Purely hypothetical, in fact, however to ask is sensible contemplating the apply of an artist who, for the reason that starting of her profession, has thought deeply about circumstances of show.
DGF was born in 1965, and he or she remembers watching the 1969 Moon touchdown on tv. Within the ensuing decade, “science fiction was extra vital than basic literature,” she mentioned on the event of her showat Serpentine. Hans Ulrich Obrist, the curator, mentioned that the rooms can result in visions and apparitions, with unabashed confidence within the community-creating energy of the set up.2
On the flip of the century, DGF designed a home for a Japanese artwork collector—a home that looks like a film script, a reviewer wrote in Le Monde on the time.3 For a Y2K incarnation of the style home Balenciaga, she designed retailers. Such an curiosity within the cosmic and the creation of dioramic and panoramic worlds is clear amongst sure different artists from her age cohort, similar to Philippe Parreno and Pierre Huyghe, whom DGF has incessantly labored with. All of it got here collectively in Expodrome on the Musée d’artwork Moderne de la Ville de Paris (2007), billed as a triple retrospective with Parreno and Huyghe, though DGF created works particularly for the show. Within the sparse present, the viewer was positioned within the heart, not in contrast to in a panorama. Tapis de lecture (2000–2007) included a pile of paperbacks, amongst them Kurt Cobain’s Journals (2002), and, as a nod to the area age, Stanislaw Lem’s 1961 novel Solaris. A wierd confluence of occasions and cultural references, just like the one presently on view in Berlin, the place viewers stumble into a spot that folds historic layers of twentieth-century Berlin into an atmospheric surroundings with Nick Cave and Erika Mann as contemporaries. Born too late or too early, it doesn’t matter—these figures all have a spot in DGF’s canon.
The present is accompanied by Une Valise Transféministe, a group of books the artist chosen with the thinker Paul B. Preciado, who was additionally concerned within the London installment of the panorama. The texts are organized in three suitcases: one with books printed earlier than 1900, one spanning the 20th century, and the third containing publications since 2000. A projection reveals chosen passages from the writings. The association recollects Andy Warhol’s time capsules. It additionally brings to thoughts the fragmented nature of feminist thought, which seems to start out many issues anew with each era—a fragmented canon nonetheless in manufacturing. And it resembles Marcel Duchamp’s Boîte-en-valise (1936–41), the suitcase-size micro-retrospective the artist curated for his personal work. DGF’s valises are displayed open, however they seem like they might be closed rapidly and brought to a secure location, ought to the necessity come up. And whereas the present is a celebration of different artists and writers, which exudes confidence in neighborhood, there’s a darker implication: it additionally seems like an mental ark for survival.
at Esther Schipper, Berlin https://www.estherschipper.com
till December 23, 2022
Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster was born 1965 in Strasbourg, France. She studied at École des Beaux-Arts, Grenoble, L'École du Magasin, Centre Nationwide d'Artwork Contemporain de Grenoble and Institut des Hautes Études en Arts Plastiques, Paris. The artist lives and works in Paris and Rio de Janeiro. An experimental artist based mostly in Paris, Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster has, since 1990, been exploring the completely different modalities of sensory and cognitive relationships between our bodies and areas, actual or fictitious, as much as the purpose of questioning the space between natural and inorganic life. Metabolizing literary and cinematographic, architectural and musical, scientific and pop references, Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster creates "chambres" and "interiors", "gardens", "sights" and "planets", with respect to the a number of meanings that these phrases tackle within the works of Virginia Woolf or Nathaniel Hawthorne, the Brontë sisters or Thomas Pynchon, Joanna Russ or Philip Okay. Dick. This investigation of areas extends to a questioning of the implicit neutrality of practices and exhibition areas. Her "mises en espace", "anticipations" and "apparitions" search to invade the sensory area of the viewers in order to function intentional adjustments of their reminiscence and creativeness. Chosen solo exhibitions embrace: Alienarium 5, Serpentine Galleries, London (2022); OPERA (QM.15), Bourse de Commerce - Pinault Assortment, Paris (2022); VOLCANIC EXCURSION (A VISION), Secession, Vienna (2021); Martian Desires Ensemble, Galerie für Zeitgenössische Kunst, Leipzig (2018); Costumes and Needs for twenty first Century, Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster in collaboration with Manuel Raeder and BLESS, Schinkel Pavillon, Berlin (2016). Current group exhibitions embrace: Shenzen Museum of Modern Artwork and City Planning, Shenzen (2022); M+ Museum West Kowloon Cultural District, Hong Kong (2022); Bergen Meeting, Bergen (2022); Farbe ist Programm, Bundeskunsthalle, Bonn (2022); Programme Mire, Gare de Chêne-Bourg, Genève (2022); Video Room program, Histories cycle, Museu de arte de São Paulo Assis Chateaubriand (MASP), São Paulo (2021); Mirrors and Home windows, Sammlung Philara, Düsseldorf (2021); Inaugural exhibition, The Tower, LUMA, Arles (2021); SETTING - R. W. F. alive, mim | Raum für Kultur, Munich (2020); Enzo Mari, Triennale Milano, Milan (2020); Might You Reside in Fascinating Instances, La Biennale di Venezia, Venice (2019); Luogo e Segni, Punta della Dogana, Venice (2019); Opera because the World, Centre Pompidou-Metz, Metz (2019); Welt ohne Außen, Gropius Bau, Berlin (2018).
Philipp Hindahl is a author and editor based mostly in Berlin. He writes about artwork, structure, and literature for magazines and newspapers.