The artists examine constructions of identity from different positions. Their images, films and installations enter a dialogue both spatially and in terms of content. With rearranged symbols from fashion and pop culture they reveal social mechanisms and create their own pictorial worlds.
The strict codes of the fashion and consumer world and their communication through images are central themes of the two exhibitions by Tobias Kaspar (*1984 in Basel, lives in Rome) and Carter Mull (*1977 in Atlanta, lives in Los Angeles). At Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen the artists examine constructions of identity from different positions. Their images, films and installations enter a dialogue both spatially and in terms of content. With rearranged symbols from fashion and pop culture they reveal social mechanisms and create their own pictorial worlds. The juxtaposition of their different strategies shows that in a reality flooded with images and goods the dividing lines between art and consumption and individuality and community are permeable.
Tobias Kaspar demonstrates the interaction between encoding and decoding with the film Chapeau Sydney En Herbe Marine et Ruban Straw Ribbon on Straw Hat, the centrepiece of his show «The Air on the Way to the Oyster». The new film, produced by the Kunst Halle, is the second part of a trilogy and shows impressions from a luxury clothes shop in Rome. Voyeuristic camera angles and slow sequences capture the brand articles at an interface: the clothes and accessories are still free from the personal charge of their wearers, although the label influences the significance. In addition, the cool aesthetics of the close-ups of his own pictures create poetry in consumption devoid of meaning. Kaspar makes it clear that the presentation and representation of clothes and architecture lie close together. The artist is also intervening at the Kunst Halle with an installation: a carpet becomes a stylized catwalk which connects the spaces and serves as an abstracted plinth for the presentation of photographic works.
In contrast to Kaspar’s sober aesthetics, in «The Princess is Caged in the ©» Carter Mull confronts visitors with a dense installation made up of paintings, light sculptures hanging from the ceiling, a video and thousands of loose sheets of paper which inundate the floor. Gaudy colours, logos, typography and screenshots from online shops for hipsters characterise the detailed pictorial material. With this Mull questions the status and production of goods and consequently art. In the process various social systems and forms of expression and dissemination conflate - analogously to the networked postmodern world. Mull’s main interest is the relationship of the individual to community. In particular he focuses on the way in which identities are constructed with brands and other cultural symbols. The American artist creates picture puzzles which enable new relations between highbrow and pop culture and give an insight into his perception of the convoluted world.
Kasper and Mull unfold a many-layered encounter with subcultures and pictorial realities with almost diametrically opposed artistic languages and strategies which enter into a promising dialogue at the Kunst Halle.
P.S. From 17 to 22 June Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen is a special guest at the LISTE Art Fair in Basel, where it is showing an offshoot of the two exhibitions.
Carter Mull (*1977 in Atlanta, US) studied at the California Institute of the Arts (2000-2006) and the Rhode Island School of Design. Today he lives in Los Angeles and New York. Solo exhibitions (selection): Marc Foxx, Los Angeles, US (2013); T&S, New York, US (2011); Rivington Arms, New York, US (2007); Champion Fine Art, Los Angeles, US (2005). Group exhibitions (selection): Jessica Silvermann Gallery, San Francisco, US; United Artists Limited, Marfa, US; Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia, US (2013); Daegu Biennale, Seoul, KR; Venice Beach Biennale, Venice, US; Museum of Modern Art, New York, US (2012); The Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, US (2011); Gagosian Gallery, New York, US (2008). www.cartermull.info
Tobias Kaspar (*1984 in Basel, CH) studied at the Hochschule für Bildende Künste in Hamburg (2005-2011) and the Hochschule für Bildende Künste (Staedelschule) in Frankfurt. Today he lives in Rom. Solo exhibitions (selection): Hydra Life, SILBERKUPPE, Berlin, DE (2013); Galerie Peter Kilchmann, Zürich, CH (2012); Alex Zachary Gallery, New York, US (2011), Golden Pudel Club, Hamburg, DE (2007). Group exhibitions (selection): CAFAM Art Museum, Bejing, CN (2014); Artists Space, New York, US (2013); Palais de Tokyo, Paris, FR (2012); Kunsthalle Zürich, Zürich, CH; Kunsthalle Basel, Basel, CH; Kunsthaus Bregenz, Bregenz, AT (2011).
«The Air on the Way to the Oyster» is supported by Erna und Curt Burgauer Stiftung and Abteilung Kultur Basel-Stadt. Special thanks to Istituto Svizzero di Roma.
Image: Carter Mull, Carter, Michael and Nancy, 2013. Courtesy: the artist and Marc Foxx Gallery, Los Angeles.
Opening Friday, 25 April 2014, 6 p.m.
Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen
Davidstrasse 40 CH-9000 St. Gallen
Tuesday to Friday from 12 noon to 6 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Closed every Monday, New Year’s Day, Good Friday, August 1st, New Year’s Eve.
Easter Monday and Whitmonday open.
Regular: CHF 7.00
Students with ID: CHF 2.00