Volume V – Anna Vogel & Maria Müller-Schareck

Volume V – Anna Vogel & Maria Müller-Schareck

November 2021

Anna Vogel lives in the Austrian mountains, in Tyrol, I live in the lowlands of the Rhine, in Düsseldorf. One, therefore, in the midst of the peace and majesty of the Alps, the other in a big city characterized by densification, traffic, and hecticness. The different speed that dominates our lives is one of the central themes in Anna Vogel’s work. Based on photography, she challenges its documentary potential by productively disrupting the surface of the image, literally overlaying and enriching it. Our conversation, conducted in the midst of the fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, was possible thanks to digital communication; fast, but an inadequate substitute for face-to-face encounters.

Maria Müller-Schareck

Volume V – Anna Vogel & Maria Müller-Schareck

Sperling

all exhibits

Thomas Geiger: The Great Relief

29.03.2019–11.05.2019

The Great Relief is Thomas Geiger’s third solo exhibition at SPERLING. Two new series of works come together that deal in very different ways with territorial markings in public space: The photographic work Some Great Europeans has its origin in a performance created in November 2018 as part of the Performance Biennale in Chandigarh (India). Chandigarh is the first planned city in post-independent India, designed by the French architect Le Corbusier. As such, it is permeated by the modernist visions of Europe: scientific rationalism, efficiency, and a belief in social improvement through design. In front of the museum, also designed by Le Corbusier, Geiger built an improvised brick pedestal. Visitors were invited to select an image from a series of photographs, all of which show public statues of some “Great Europeans”, and interpret it on the pedestal.

In this work, Geiger deals with his own role as an artist and poses the question of what artistic and intellectual import can look like in the post-colonial age. Together with the participants, he creates temporary monuments in which the ephemeral human being is at the centre rather than the object that survives. The short gestures and attitudes of the participants become a fragile but all the more lively antithesis to the static and solid monumentality of modernism in the background and statues in general.

The work is a continuation of Thomas Geiger’s performative and sculptural practice, which finds its place in the intermediate realm of private/institutional and public spaces and usually includes visitors directly. This results in shifts that question our perception of these spaces as well as our own role within them.

The sculpture series Corners for Relief, which emerged from Geiger’s preoccupation with “being allowed” and “having to” in public space, also moves at this interface - and quite specifically with the question: Where can one go when one has to? What do you do when you’re not allowed?
Urination is an essential biological function that has been subjected to strong social control.. But to maintain this control is more difficult for some than for others. For many people, the increasing disappearance of public toilets is an enormous problem. If you are not a man (who is able to find his “public toilets” in numerous places in the public space or to declare the place a toilet) or in perfect health, enormous mental energy is required if the next toilet is not just around the corner.

The Corners for Relief are small corner-shaped sculptures reminiscent of urinals - a comparison that suggests itself, because they are the modelled forms of popular peeing corners from public space. Peeing corners may be a result of the lack of public toilets, but they still owe the fact that man can. If you like, corners for peeing belong to a male system of representation in public space. They share this quality with the statues of the “Great Europeans”, for even historiography and its visible representation in the form of statues and monuments is “marked” above all by male heroes.

Thomas Geiger, born 1983 in Germany, lives in Vienna. Geiger’s artistic practice focuses on performative and sculptural approaches at the interface between public- and private/institutional spaces, seeking contact with different forms of public. His projects such as Kunsthalle3000 or The Festival of Minimal Actions can be considered stages for collaborations, dialogue and confrontation. Recent exhibitions and performances include Kunstverein Langenhagen, Museum Tinguely (Basel), La Construccion (Guatemala), Despacio (San José), Fondation d‘entreprise Ricard (Paris) or Thank You For Coming (Nice).

Press

  • Art Viewer
  • ARTMIRROR
  • Monopol Magazin
Installation view: Thomas Geiger: “The Great Relief March 29 - May 11”, 2019

Photo: Sebastian Kissel
Installation view: Thomas Geiger: “The Great Relief March 29 - May 11”, 2019

Photo: Sebastian Kissel
Thomas Geiger, Some Great Europeans (Winston Churchill), 2019, C-Print, 30 × 45 cm
Thomas Geiger, Some Great Europeans (Marie Curie), 2019, C-Print, 30 × 45 cm
Installation view: Thomas Geiger: “The Great Relief March 29 - May 11”, 2019

Photo: Sebastian Kissel
Thomas Geiger, Some Great Europeans (Sissi), 2019 , C-Print, 30 × 45 cm
Thomas Geiger, Some Great Europeans (Miguel de Cervantes), 2019, C-Print, 30 × 45 cm
Thomas Geiger, Some Great Europeans (Jeanne d'Arc), 2019, C-Print, 30 × 45 cm
Installation view: Thomas Geiger: “The Great Relief March 29 - May 11”, 2019

Photo: Sebastian Kissel
Thomas Geiger, Some Great Europeans (Christoper Columbus), 2019, C-Print, 30 × 45 cm
Thomas Geiger, Some Great Europeans (Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart), 2019, C-Print, 30 × 45 cm
Installation view: Thomas Geiger: “The Great Relief March 29 - May 11”, 2019

Photo: Sebastian Kissel
Thomas Geiger, Some Great Europeans (Karl Marx & Friedrich Engels), 2019, C-Print, 30 × 45 cm
Thomas Geiger, Some Great Europeans (Georges Danton), 2019, C-Print, 30 × 45 cm
Installation view: Thomas Geiger: “The Great Relief March 29 - May 11”, 2019

Photo: Sebastian Kissel
Thomas Geiger, Some Great Europeans (Christiano Ronaldo), 2019, C-Print, 30 × 45 cm
Installation view: Thomas Geiger: “The Great Relief March 29 - May 11”, 2019

Photo: Sebastian Kissel
Installation view: Thomas Geiger: “The Great Relief March 29 - May 11”, 2019

Photo: Sebastian Kissel
Installation view: Thomas Geiger: “The Great Relief March 29 - May 11”, 2019

Photo: Sebastian Kissel
Installation view: Thomas Geiger: “The Great Relief March 29 - May 11”, 2019

Photo: Sebastian Kissel