July 4, 2006 - MMK Museum für Moderne Kunst Frankfurt am Main - Serge Spitzer & Ai Weiwei: territorial
July 4, 2006

Serge Spitzer & Ai Weiwei: territorial

Serge Spitzer & Ai Weiwei
Ghost Valley coming down the Mountain“, 2005-2006

Serge Spitzer & Ai Weiwei
territorial

May 20th-August 27th 2006

Museum für Moderne Kunst
Domstrasse 10, 60311 Frankfurt am Main, Germany
Tues.-Sun. 10am to 5 pm
Wed. 10 am to 8 pm, Mon.closed

Tel. 49 (0) 69 212 30447
Fax: 49 (0) 69 212 37882
mmk [​at​] stadt-frankfurt.de

www.mmk-frankfurt.de

Our image of China is shaped by a mixture of fascination and skepticism an experimental combination of authority, Taoism and Modernity. Chinese artist Ai Weiwei (born 1957, lives and works in Beijing) stands for a generation embroiled in upheaval. Likewise, the works of US artist Serge Spitzer (born 1951, lives and works in New York) focus on the discovery and investigation of models of reality found in the meaning and use of everyday materials. On the occasion of the Humanism in China exhibition, both artists have for the first time joined forces to create an expansive installation entitled Ghost Valley coming down the Mountain (2005-2006).

Spread across two rooms, 96 vases have been placed on the floor. Each of them presents a mutually complementary section of one of the most important vases from the Yuan period (1269-1368). The vases were made at the original workshop in China, and entail the use of the selfsame materials and techniques as the original. This form of reproduction with its historical, social and economic references to Chinese culture relates these issues to contemporary art discourses on such dualities as copy/original, figuration/abstraction, unique piece/mass item. Fragile and sensitive, they compel the viewer to be cautious, while at the same time constituting a kind of territorial occupation by dint of their grid-like positioning in the rooms.

Opposite this joint project stands Serge Spitzers Quiver, Rustle, Tremble, Stir (2003-2006), a work using the ambiguity of the space. The movements above the glass ceiling of the exhibition space possess neither a clear form nor a clear goal or unequivocal function. Their origin disappears in the milky opacity of the glass; at times, the structure seems almost biological, at others, mechanical. The work points up notions of order and chaos, structures formed by borders and limitations, and the definition of spatial coordinates. The complex world of unknown, imperfect and ambiguous is one of the main issues addressed by Serge Spitzers work.

Like the vases installation, Quiver, Rustle, Tremble, Stir seems to be a prototypical model in a communications game, whose sculptural qualities transform the exhibition hall into a field for observation and investigation. Each a unique individual piece, the vases always only reproduce one fragment of the original, but are inter-linked by a DNA-like system just as the spherical bodies visible in the skylights are reminiscent of molecular structures that constantly realign in new configurations.

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