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Builder Vor Boatin

Silver Shed
119 West 25th Street, 646-322-3324
March 7 - April 18, 2009
Reception: Saturday, March 7, 7 - 9 PM
Web Site

Silvershed opens its second season of artist-curated shows with an exhibition organized by Dirk Skreber. The artists gathered for the show are nine art students of Skreber’s from Hamburg, and three artists working in New York:

Davide Balula, Sean Dack, and Rachel Garrard (from Paris, NY, and London, respectively.) The show is playfully titled ‘Builder Vor Boatin’ as a German-English wordplay that sounds like ‘Pictures are forbidden’ in German (bilder verbotten!) The show presents sketches, photos, proposals and plans for visualizing future artworks free of practical or physical limitations…

Eight of the German students partake in a project combining their proposals into one concept. Their stated plan is to build a future model of a utopic universe based on the potato as an idea for a structure, a material, as well as a symbol. Their project, entitled “2020 – The Beginning of Überding” references art-historic links from Mario Merz to Jörg Immendorf: “The picture must assume the funktion of the potato”.

Sean Dack describes a tour – a plan for an installation – replete with a ticking heartbeat in an anechoic acoustical foam-lined hallway. A cacophony of stretched audio, a projection of failed filmed project as well as a sculptural totem related to an earlier work, is conveyed in text and model.

Balula’s project is for Mexico City, where everything has been built on lakes. Now that so much of the local water is being drawn from the ground, many of the buildings in Mexico City are hollowing into the ground. Balula’s project converts the forces of the attraction in the ground into elevation dedicated to the famous Latin American Tower. Garrard’s entry for the show describes an installation called ‘The space in between’. In her extensive proposal, ‘between’, represents ‘a non-solid state referring to the energy and light between the physical, mental and spiritual bodies. The work deals with the portrayal of life showing the sensitivities that often go unnoticed, the anxiety pain and beauty of the world and the struggle to exist.” Accompanying video stills and drawings show the placement of an oblique screen (distorting or undistorting a distorted image) of a projection of her body rendered in a time-altering slowed down and stretched out plasticized space.

Egle Otto’s drawings of a wearable sculpture of a dress festooned with sculptural hands projecting in space from extended rods speaks to issues of autonomy and proxemics, evocative of Rebecca Horn’s early sartorial artworks, but multiplied in a Post-Modern Baroque style. While known primarily for his paintings, Skreber, a leading contemporary German artist working in New York, has also widely shown installation interventions and model-based sculpture. Many of these sculptures are pieces that are completed by the viewer imagining inhabiting or traversing the suggested space, – which often takes a humorously terrifying form and scale.
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