Derek Eller Gallery is pleased to present A BIRD IN THE HAND, an exhibition of new works by Berlin-based artist, Christian Schwarzwald.
Christian Schwarzwald manipulates his drawings like words: combining them as thoughts to form a language of their own. With his installations, Schwarzwald defines the space as arena or page, and suggests the topic for conversation. His mixed media quasi-photographic, yet expressive drawings each function as an explanation or idea being proposed to the viewer. These tangents, describing, in this case, a strange morphology between birds and humans, are connected using a uniforming syntactical structure to create fluidity between the various propositions that he makes.
For A BIRD IN THE HAND, Schwarzwald transforms the gallery space into a cage for the viewers to enter by covering the walls with the image of a chainlink fence. The simple, minimalist pattern that composes the fence serves as a neutral image that becomes loaded through the viewers’ interactions with it; as it brings to mind anything from playgrounds to prisons where a strict definition of inside v. outside (boundary) exists. Schwarzwald’s installation positions the viewers in an ambiguous situation, one in which they are confronted with issues of confinement and surveillance. Viewers choose to enter – an act of freedom – only to find themselves entrapped through this decision. Through their participation in the work, they become both viewer and viewed: co-inhabitants with the part-bird, part-humans drawn on the walls, as well as observers of them. The work aims to initiate discussion of the connotations of boundaries and the referents of enclosure.
Christian Schwarzwald’s work has been exhibited throughout the United States and Europe. This will be his second solo show with the gallery.