Rod Barton is pleased to announce INSTANT EXCESS featuring artists Kristian Touborg (Denmark) and Moritz Wegwerth (Germany).
A juncture has been reached in the contemporary moment of our society. The advent of fake news, information warfare, a web held hostage and the commodification of politics have left us in a maelstrom of images that conflict, saturate and construct partisan sides in debates that never were. Anti-vaxxers turn belief into fact, Trump perfects fake-news doublethink and sophisticated algorithms deliver our data to commercial enterprises. At the centre of this rotating nebula of material sits us. The viewers, consumers and members of society who live in world where belief, fact, fiction and opinion hold equal space depending on the weight we attribute to them. The future belongs to images and what will become of them when the context is immutably fluid through the contemporary into the historical.
It’s hard to think we are not all but players on a stage, being subtly manipulated into dramatically ironic crescendo by forces unseen. If the world is the stage for this production then Moritz Wegwerth’s photographs are the tableau for this phenomenon. Times square, disassembled after Trumps election victory, stands at the centre of a cavalcade of advertising imagery. So often it has felt as if we are at the centre of a bizarre Netflix special, and Wegwerth’s images translate this feeling of unbelievable reality with a focus on the gears that drive the social machine forwards. Workers remove the stage, each seemingly engaged with a dramatic narrative of their own yet preparing for the presidency of consumerism become politic. Wegwerth’s aesthetic immediately draws comparisons to the Barthesian tableau photographers who construct their sets meticulously. However, Wegwerth does not setup his works as carefully but rather refers us to the constructivism present in contemporary discourse, it’s fragility and it’s awesome power.
If Wegwerth’s photographs act as a comment on our contemporary obsession with how images act as both tools of influence and of the influencer, Kristian Touborg’s practice examine how fragmentary and impermanent our digital depictions are throughout the passage of time. If our imagery is so pervasive and personal now, where are the lines between belief and fact when the images are separated from context. In an age where data is becoming more than a collection of 1s and 0s, but a harvestable resource to be exploited, the artist creates archaeological reliefs of imagery and data from a near future society. In the same way that re-opening a jpeg file slowly corrupts the present visual information, Touborg meticulously creates a digital catalog of local ephemera using a camera and portable 3D scanner to create a visual library that he then constructs his panels into. If Mortiz Wegwerth is the artist examining imagery’s effect on society, Touborg is the archaeologist examining societies effect on imagery.
If Wegwerth as a practitioner is a visual critic then Touborg acts as a visual anthropologist. Both artists scour and reconstitute visual images from a shared cultural reservoir of content. Both artists ask the question of how we position ourselves between the ideas of belief, relic, knowledge, reality and fiction. Seeing ourselves as both author and construction within the works of Wegwerth and Touborg we are reminded of our relative size to visual culture. Rather it being a total product of ourselves we are a conduit into which singularities pass and reconstitute themselves anew infinitely.
The idea that photography has the ability to represent perception and experience plays an important role in the work of Louisa Clement, Anna Vogel and Moritz Wegwerth. All of them build on a tradition that emerged from their study of photography as a medium. The perception of an artwork is not understood as a passive act to be taken for granted, but rather as a product of cultural and historical circumstances.
The formal manifestations of their work are as varied as the concepts behind them, and yet Louisa Clement, Anna Vogel and Moritz Wegwerth have one thing in common: they are among the first students Andreas Gursky admitted into his fine art class at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf in 2010. The interdisciplinary structure of the class (students work with photography along with diverse media including painting, sculpture, video, performance) is a constant challenge to broaden one’s own horizons. Two approaches appear central to Gursky’s teaching: first, that he encourages his students to delve intensively into the history of their respective medium; second, he motivates them to work with current social circumstances. These factors also play an important role in the three artists’ works.
PUBLIC FOLDER 3 / Golden Record (Book)
24 x 20 cm, 344 pages, german/english. Elaborate book design with two thread-stitched book parts, removable text book, different papers, 8paged cover with gold foil embossing, silver print and a folded poster wrapper in 55 x 33 cm.
Contributions by 120 artists like Albert Oehlen, David Ostrowski, Gregor Hildebrandt, Ingo Niermann, Johannes Wohnseifer, John Bock, Jörg Sasse, Justus Köhncke, Lothar Hempel, Marc Brandenburg, Matthias Schaufler, Michail Pirgelis, Mischa Kuball, Oda Jaune, Owen Gump, Peter Miller, Rafael Horzon, Rainald Goetz, Roman Schramm, Walter Dahn, Wolfgang Tillmans, Wolfgang Voigt, Moritz Wegwerth …
Essays by Jörg Sasse, Holger Otten, Claus Pias, John Harten
John Harten (Editor)
Public Folder & Revolver Publishing 2017
Die Möglichkeiten sowie die Grenzen der Fotografie sind in der künstlerischen Arbeit Moritz Wegwerths Dreh- und Angelpunkt der Auseinandersetzung mit dem Bild. Im Foto konzentriert sich die Erfahrung eines einzigen Moments. In einem Zusammenspiel aus Steuerung und Zufall wird ein Abbild der Welt eingefangen. Es geschieht die Transformation eines dreidimensionalen Raumes in eine zweidimensionale Bildfläche. In der präzisen Nachbearbeitung der digitalen Aufnahme sucht Wegwerth nach Aspekten, die dem Foto ihre Relevanz verleihen. Er bearbeitet es bis eine Harmonie – oder besser gesagt, ein Gleichgewicht aus Harmonie und Disharmonie – entsteht, die dem gefundenen Sujet gerecht wird. Innerhalb dieser Herangehensweise lässt er das Spiel mit technischen Möglichkeiten zu. Eine Regel dabei ist, dass Elemente nie hinzugefügt, sondern immer nur weggenommen werden. Dabei sind alle Arbeiten von einer Lichtintensität, von einem flächenbetonten Gleichklang und von einer präzisen Schärfe geprägt. Generell ist die Wahl des Ausschnitts, der Größe der Prints sowie der Art der Reproduktion Basis für eine installative Auseinandersetzung mit dem Ausstellungsraum.
Für die TOTALE 15 im Maschinenhaus Essen erarbeitete Wegwerth unter dem Titel Order from Noise eine raumgreifende Medieninstallation, die den erzählerischen Aspekt der Fotografie thematisiert. Indem Bilder vielfältig kombiniert werden, verbinden sie sich zu einem Pool und tauchen in den Bilderrausch unseres medialen Zeitalters ein. In dieser Fähigkeit liegt ihr Potenzial, liegt die Offenheit des Bildes.
Kuratiert von Anna Czerlitzki (Museum Ludwig)
notworking ...and the sloth hums the song. ...
Wissel / Weber‘s „Vagabund“ is a delivery van that has been transformed into a mobile living space. Available for the duration of a residency, it also comes with 1001 liters free diesel oil. The van is being rented for the respective trip and its interior customized to one‘s own personal needs. However, the privatized and customized vehicle also marks a stage on which the „Vagabunden“ [rovers] appear. On the road and in parking lots, the unit is body, skin and clothing all at once. It merges with the person and the role to become both, display and art work. Wissel / Weber went on the first voyage themselves and invited Moritz Wegwerth, whom they named the first artist in residence of their program, to accompany them in the spring of 2015. The trip began in Hamburg and ended in Herzliya [Israel], where parts of the interior were shown at the [Herzliya] museum for the duration of the exhibition. – Annette Hans
Permanent Collection, Düsseldorf
Every Cult its Castle, Sammlung Philara at Spinnerei Leipzig, 16.09. – 14.10.2017
Alain Verre by Peter Miller and Moritz Wegwerth, which is a duo show as opposed to a show by a duo, at Setareh explored ideas of inversion in photography such as reversals, negatives/positives and opposites. Each artist worked out their respective interpretation through a physical approach employing a combination of various techniques from photograms to cyanotypes to inkjets and video. Sculptural renderings incorporated the cut-out arms from a photogram of a pair of 3D movie glasses presented in the box that usually contains photographic paper for Miller’s 3D (VG), 2009, and his Negative Form 35/1, 2011, which is essentially a fashioned bowl made entirely from a roll of 35mm film literally occupy a unique space that pushes the very idea of what constitutes a photograph.
Wegwerth’s monumental images are constructivist in nature, solid and imposing, but with Flicker, 2015, capturing the light transitions on the stone floor of a church, and Miller’s Kronleuchter I (Chandelier I), 2011, a kaleidoscopic two-dimensional luminogram created from a three-dimensional crystal chandelier there is a genuine sense of the mysterious and enchantment associated with the darkroom process. This is particularly evident in Miller’s beautifully enigmatic Braid, 2011, depicting on one side a photogram of a girl’s braided hair and fingertips, with the reverse showing a photograph of the girl holding that light-sensitive paper in the studio. The flash of the camera’s bulb was used in creating the photogram, and though it divulges the operation it somehow retains the mystique.
Time and light are of course the foundation elements of all photography and so in Miller’s teasingly designed 145 part The Academy, 2016, he has printed each frame from a classic movie countdown (presented in reverse and upside down) there is once again an attention to movement and the historical as well as the temporal and luminescent. In these ways, both Miller and Wegwerth overlap and interact, seamlessly filling the gallery space with a precision of technique and thought.
Barry W. Hughes, SMB Mag
In 2014, the board of the foundation entrusted KIT with the selection of the candidates, who were to be under the age of 35. Together with four professors from the Kunstakademie in Düsseldorf and the Kunsthochschule für Medien (KHM) in Cologne, 15 artists were selected to present their work.
Silke Albrecht, Malte Bruns, Frauke Dannert, Alwin Lay, Mercedes Neuß, Nicolas Pelzer, Dzifa Peters, Tobias Przybilla, Felicitas Rohden, Ruben Benjamin Smulczynski, Anna Vogel, Moritz Wegwerth, Kristin Wenzel, Marius Wübbeling, Josef Zky
A Book about Photography as Drawing, about Originals and Reproductions, in between an Exhibition and a Book.
is an international network of artists dedicated to the investigation of photographic practice. Through a range of artistic, critical and curatorial projects, Time to meet is interested in the exploration of the medium of photography and its attendant issues of representation, objectivity and authenticity. These projects may include, but are not limited to the use of photography as an artistic medium itself. Our intention is to regularly bring together various practitioners in different disciplines as part of Time to meet's commitment to photographic discourse and debate. We feel that this collaborative, nomadic approach is necessary to encourage and inject new ideas and contexts into the practice. A free and open exchange of positions is imperative in Time to meet's continuing adaptability to a progressive and ever-shifting medium.
Class of 2016 | Nine-week summer residency
born 1981, lives and works in Düsseldorf
2014 Kunstakademie Düsseldorf
2009 HfG Karlsruhe
2005–2008 Folkwang-Hochschule Essen
· Das Recht auf Faulheit | Galerie Ginerva Gambino Köln. With Alex Wissel and Jochen Weber (upcoming)
· Every Cult its Castle | Sammlung Philara at Spinnerei Leipzig
· Lady Dior As Seen By | Taipei 101, Taipei, TWN
· Louisa Clement, Anna Vogel, Moritz Wegwerth | Galerie Sprüth Magers, Berlin. Curated by Andreas Gursky
· Lady Dior As Seen By | Langen Foundation, Raketenstation Hombroich, Neuss
· Based on | Kunsthaus Essen
· Kumsitz | KIT, Düsseldorf. With Alex Wissel and Jochen Weber
· Alain Verre | Galerie Setareh, with Peter Miller
· Smart Casual | Cubus Kunsthalle, Duisburg
· Doppelkopf | O H A 15, Projektraum Düsseldorf
· Vagabund | Herzliya Museum, Tel Aviv. With Alex Wissel and Jochen Weber, ISR
· Rumour has it, Currents #2 | Marres, Maastricht, NL
· Order from Noise | TOTALE, Maschinenhaus Essen. Curated by Anna Czerlitzki
· Stipendium Vordemberge–Gildewart | KIT Kunst im Tunnel, Düsseldorf
· Grain, Wood, Flax, Turf, ... | Voorkamer Lier, BE
· Everything´s Alright | Master Graduation Show, Kunstakademie Düsseldorf
· En El Castillo | Museo Internacional de Arte Contemporáneo, Lanzarote, ES
· Jardin de Cactus | BEST Gruppe, Düsseldorf
· Transportation/Transformation - A Discussion of Jet Age Internationalism | SoBa, Tokyo. Curated by Milan Ther
· Klasse Gursky Tokio Hiyoshi | Keio University Art Space, Tokyo, JP
· The Reality of The Unbuilt | Raketenstation Hombroich, Neuss
· State of the Art Photography | NRW Forum, Düsseldorf
· Die Erfindung der Wirklichkeit | Akademie-Galerie, Düsseldorf
· The Second Act | De Brakke Grond, Amsterdam
AWARDS AND SCHOLARSHIPS
2016 Residency Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Skowhegan, ME, USA
2015 Stipendium Vagabund
2014 Vordemberge–Gildewart Stipendium
2013 BEST Kunstförderpreis in cooperation with Kunstakademie Düsseldorf
2011 Travel Grant of the Kunstverein für die Rheinlande und Westfalen
and Kunst und Kulturstiftung der Stadtsparkasse Düsseldorf
2012 Initiator | The Reality of The Unbuilt | Raketenstation Hombroich, Neuss
2011 Co-Founder | MIKRO Projektraum für Fotografie | Düsseldorf
2010 Initiator of the Festival | Sugary Photographs with Tricks, Poses & Effects, Antwerp
2008 Co-Founder of TIME TO MEET | International platform for artists