Julian Irlinger “Ludwig” at Damien & The Love Guru, Zurich

By Last Updated: May 24, 2024Views: 22

A physique lies on the backside of a physique of water, poised as if making an attempt one remaining Canova pose. Two mildly anthropomorphic fish observe him, pondering—each laconically and rhythmically—whether or not they behold a corpse or a dreaming being. These are the stays of Ludwig II—King of Bavaria for twenty years on the finish of the nineteenth century, referred to as the Swan King, the Fairy Story King. Disinterested within the administration of public affairs and navy endeavors, he indulged in whimsical pursuits in structure, music, and artwork. His most memorable legacy, Neuschwanstein Fortress, stands as a quasi-folly ornate fort. It stays one of many principal worldwide points of interest in Germany and served as a direct inspiration for Disneyland’s Sleeping Magnificence fortress, later stylized into the brand of the most important American media firm.

In a way, each fish are appropriate: Ludwig II’s demise (regicide? suicide?) served the hegemonic agenda of the environment friendly, trendy Prussian state, which, inside just a few a long time, would lead German industrial progress in Europe, propelled by burgeoning chemical and metal industries. But, Ludwig II’s goals endured, repurposed for tourism and nationwide branding, usual right into a prototype of the elusive and refined Prince Charming—an early embodiment, maybe, of the solipsism of isolation, needs, and projections attribute of hyper-mediated shopper society.

Walt Disney and Ludwig II of Bavaria shared an enchantment with the dream of complete fiction: the creation of environments of multisensory stimulation meant to fix the unique separation between viewers and spectacle in Greek theatre. The king, by means of the flowery units by which he secluded himself from despised contemporaneity and his asso-ciations with Richard Wagner and his magnificent gesamtkunstwerk; the Kansas Metropolis entrepreneur—whereas perpetuating the cult of the romantic creator—by developing Disneyland, a utopian metropolis with an entrance payment.

To examine worlds indifferent from historical past, each resorted to the newest technological improvements: in Disney’s case, the synchronization of audio and video, aggressive administration of rising copyright rules, and the Taylorist organisation of artistic work. The meticulous Bavarian ruler went as far as to contact what would develop into BASF to re-produce an intense shade of indigo, unachievable with the lighting know-how of the time, to enliven one in every of his grottos. The endeavor to masks actuality, to repair the world at an imaginative, indeterminate cut-off date, calls for an infinite funding in know-how and capital.

Julian Irlinger has repeatedly explored the relationships between artwork, financial historical past, cultural macro-narratives, and on this exhibition, works on the idea of “characters” and “background,” on the concept of the looping crystallization of time and area—the stopped clock discovered beside Ludwig’s physique, animation cels common sufficient to chronicle locations we “would possibly” have visited or seen on a display screen—to look at how sure idiosyncratic historical past traits are transmitted vernacularly and develop into em-bedded in a globally built-in creativeness.

Francesco Tenaglia

at Damien & The Love Guru Zurich
till July 6, 2024

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