Serving nothing. The artist explores the medium of photography, creating fragile installations that extend into theatre-like mises-en-scene. Photography is often no longer recognizable as the initial point of departure. Burger's work is a wistful investigation of production and consumption in the system of art.
Laura Bartlett Gallery is pleased to present the first UK solo exhibition by German artist Stefan Burger.
Stefan Burger explores the medium of photography, creating fragile installations that extend into theatre-like mises-en-scène. Photography is often no longer recognizable as the initial point of departure. Burger’s work is a wistful investigation of production and consumption in the system of art. Toying with a kind of detachment or ambivalence in the artists’ role as ‘producer’, there is a sense of the experimental in Stefan Burger’s work that carries a consideration of existential themes - such as the fear of collapse - with wit and incisiveness.
In the exhibition ‘Serving Nothing’ Stefan Burger will present a combination of photographic and sculptural works that act as prompts or illusive starting points. ‘The Innocent Eye Test’ is a photograph of an ambiguous measuring device, which having had a role in previous works, is now re-presented. Here it seems as curious an object as that which is appears in the work, ‘Welti-Furrer,’ – an image of a man unfazed at the appearance of a large kebab shaped art-object.
The sculpture, ‘A Constructivist Support to a Hobby Punctum’, stands in the centre of the space – a board onto which is pasted a disarming image of a group of children, propped up at an angle like a picture frame on a household mantelpiece. Here Burger offers up an improvised solution to Barthes’ description of the ‘punctum’ - “that accident [of photographic detail] which pricks, but also bruises; is poignant.” Burger creates an aggrandized three-dimensional ‘punctum’ propped up by a criss-crossing of painted wood. Referencing constructivist photomontage and geometric abstraction, this ‘hobby’ punctum appears as a stand-in for an enigmatic photographic concept.
An allusion to the failure of a work to support itself, to keep its composition intact, is an ongoing characteristic of Burger’s work. In the downstairs gallery, the video ‘Collaps’ appears for the most part to be a still image or documentation of a two dimensional assemblage of coloured geometric forms. This composition abruptly falls apart revealing but a collection of elements held up by strings; a formalist puppet-show.
Stefan Burger (b.1977, Germany) lives and works in Zurich. Recent solo exhibitions include: Runaway Sculptor, Kuntshaus Baselland, Basel, Kunstmuseum Thun, Thun, Freymond-Guth & Co, Zurich, Marion Scharmann, Cologne and Galerie F.A.I.T. Krakow. Group exhibitions include: Kunsthaus Zurich, Migros Museum, Zurich, Kunstraum Munich, Kunsthalle Wintherthur. Burger was awarded the Swiss Art Award in 2008. In 2009 Stefan Burger will have a solo show at the Kunstmuseum Stuttgart.
Private View Thursday 27 November, 6.00-8.30 pm
Laura Bartlett Gallery (new location)
10 Northington Street - London
Open Wednesday – Saturday, 11 am – 6 pm and by appointment
Please note the gallery will be closed from 21 December – January 6