Images and text from Franz Ackermann, Terminal at Meyer Riegger, Karlsruhe
We are glad to present the exhibition “Terminal”, a new spatial installation by Franz Ackermann, which is in form and content a continuation of “Haus am Strand – und wie man dorthin kommt” as well as „Welt 1...and no one else wanted to play”, his two previous shows in our gallery.
The central theme of the exhibition involves the question of how to constitute real event spaces located at an interface between fiction and reality. Starting with the condition of totality, Ackermann has completely refaced the walls of the front gallery room with five oil paintings. At the true to scale ratio of 1:1 the canvases are assimilated to the format of the gallery walls; 300 to 600 cm long and 238 cm high. The artist makes no differentiation between the significance of various spatial situations. The hallway that leads to the rear gallery area is equipped with different mountings, and thus can be seen as an equivalent component of the show. Here, however, Franz Ackermann works with varied media. The use of traditional Turkish kilims (woven floor or wall rugs) allows for a correspondence between the floor and the ceiling, while also enabling a breakaway from the closed system. The medial diversification in the rear gallery area causes a breach in the homogeneity which Ackermann creates in the front exhibition space with the precise panelling of the walls. Along with the integration of photography as collage, an earlier piece is included in the show; a small mental map. The inclusion of this cartography of memory is Ackermann’s reference to his previous exhibitions, as well as a reinforcement of the concept of subjectively appropriating an area.
Franz Ackermann defines the presence of a concrete space with the illusionist means of painting, hereby making the painting into a constitutive part of the actual way the space is experienced. In this he is pursuing an intervention in appearance and reality, as one can witness in heterotopous places. At this point the artist assesses a link to a terminal, which possesses no specific function as a real, existing place outside of its efficacy. He takes up the nature of this condition in form and content within his exhibition concept. As a place between places, a room emerges here that is evident, yet borne by lacking veracity. Ackermann intends to create such an altered cognitive situation in the gallery, moving between time and space analogously to the in-between-situation of an airport terminal. As a reloading point the terminal embodies the topic of travel so intrinsic to Ackermann’s work perfectly.
His work is scoped towards the process: Freed from normal contexts, his pieces often develop during travel, but also equally find their origins in his studio, and continue generating themselves during the setup in the exhibition space. The installation “Terminal” will not be finished with the opening of the show; instead it will override the frame of the actual exhibition as a developing procedure. Franz Ackermann’s process-related thought and artistic action ensues without interruption as a continual movement and manifests itself associatively from this.
“Terminal” in consequence is conceived as a sort of travelling exhibition with an accumulative nature, and its finalized version will be on view in Kunsthalle St. Gallen in September 2008. Only after this final point will Ackermann’s paintings be visible as single pieces within the usual exhibition context. Through the deheirarchisation of the form of a picture and its inclusion as a basic element of a profane room Ackermann aims to break away from a conventionally idealized form of presentation, and thereby subverts a dogmatic aspect of art.
With his new spatial concept, realised in the course of his third solo exhibition in our gallery Franz Ackermann pursues the development of a biography, which he inscribes into these rooms, carried by a temporal and emotional bond.
The show is a reflection of Liu Bolin's multifaceted and complex view of contemporary society and culture. The critically acclaimed and internationally renowned artist will release the first works of a new series, Hiding in California.