Eleven artistic positions that each examine the phenomenon of landscape in very different ways, both in terms of form and content. The exhibition features works from the past thirty years, including films, videos, photographs, drawings and a site-specific installation. The works use and question strategies of critical or physical distancing, observation from a distance or in detail, and processes of gradual or radical removal and remodelling of space.
curated by Katrin Mundt
Württembergischer Kunstverein is presenting the "Landschaft (Entfernung)" project from March 31 to June 10, 2007. The exhibition presents eleven artistic positions that each examine the phenomenon of landscape in very different ways, both in terms of form and content. They focus on the more or less natural physical landscapes as well as on their representation in art. They test and appropriate landscape as a medium for ideological messages, as a mirror and stage of the (artist) subject, as a fatigued form of artistic expression, and as material for alternative spatial concepts.
The exhibition features works from the past thirty years, including films, videos, photographs, drawings and a site-specific installation. It will also include a film programme as well as a performance by video artist, director and author Rabih Mroué.
Conventionally, landscape is equated with notions of idyllically transfigured nature, an obsolete artistic tradition or, prosaically, the geographical formations characteristic of a certain place. In contrast, today landscape is understood rather as a material and result of producing space. It is created in accordance with (more or less clearly identifiable) political, ideological, traditional or individual interests and is hence their expression and representation. It appears "natural" to the observer for the sole reason that the causes and motives underlying its creation are not (made) visible: In this sense, landscape is a polemic positing of meaning that fails to supply its justification. Constantly disputed, it is a temporary physical arrangement.
While conventional forms of depicting landscapes in art served the purpose of drafting, affirming and naturalising these ideologically determined spaces, the positions presented here are, in contrast, driven by the suspicion that the ostensible transparency of space is in fact an optical illusion. This is a systematic attempt to sabotage the trimming of landscape to an ideological essence of meaning. It is replaced by multi-perspective and often contradictory views of landscape. For example, the works on show at the exhibition choose different forms of artistic intervention that inscribe themselves directly into the surface of the landscape, confronting incompatible landscape images with each other with the purpose of mutual devaluation, or analysing spaces with the aid of critical, documentary strategies between classical research and artistic orientation.
These different approaches to the phenomenon of landscape may be interpreted in a more general sense as an examination of problems of distance and removal. The works use and question strategies of critical or physical distancing, observation from a distance or in detail, media refraction in order to alienate and, at the same time, make visible in a new way (i.e. cancelling distance), and processes of gradual or radical removal and remodelling of space.
Exhibition tour with the artists: Saturday 31 March, 1 pm
Profile and Panorama Friday, 27 April 2007, 7 pm
Rabih Mroué, Make Me Stop Smoking Saturday, 28 April 2007, 8 pm
Free Guided Tours: Sundays 3 pm
Press Conference: Friday, 30 March, 2007, 11 am
Opening: Friday, 30 March, 2007, 7 pm
Schlossplatz 2 - Stuttgart