July 1, 2018 - Kunsthalle Osnabrück - Christoph Faulhaber: Revolution & Architecture
July 1, 2018

Kunsthalle Osnabrück

Christoph Faulhaber, #1 paradise. Exhibition view at Kunsthalle Osnabrueck. Photo: Friso Gentsch.

Christoph Faulhaber
Revolution & Architecture
June 15–October 21, 2018

Kunsthalle Osnabrück
Hasemauer 1
49074 Osnabrueck
Germany

kunsthalle.osnabrueck.de
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With Revolution & Architecture Christoph Faulhaber (*1972 in Osnabrueck, lives in Hamburg) conceives, builds, designs and opens a whole series of very different rooms in the Kunsthalle Osnabrueck. In order to discover the revolutionary aspect of these "architectures," one has to look at the social implications of interior design and urban planning in general. In order to guide the visitor in that direction, Faulhaber leads him through a clever sequencing of various spaces. In the foyer of Kunsthalle Osnabrück visitors are welcomed into a plant landscape with loans from Osnabrück living rooms titled Curia. The ambience of a thoroughly eerie amusement park titled #1 Paradise is created in the nave of the former Dominican church, which is the largest exhibition space of Kunsthalle Osnabrueck. The artist displays 80 plastic balloons with a diameter of three meters each. The hallways are papered with collages of selected newspapers, objects and also architectural models from the archive of the action and performance artist; in the Reconstruction of the Amber Room you can look only from the outside. The courtyard hosts a 12 meter high scaffolding  representing the façade of Rote Flora in Hamburg. In the forum the visitor then enters Faulhaber's cinematic autobiography Every Picture is an Empty Picture as in the eye of the cyclone: ​​the work is split into 15 individual films and surrounds the visitor in a circle.

Faulhaber plays with the image expectations of the audience and acts with visible pleasure in deception, irritation and provocation. For example, he nourishes the pictorial memory of the Osnabrueck public, which is trained in concrete art, with well-known shapes and colors, but may be upset with the material he chooses: his oversized inflatable balls, like almost all the products of contemporary events, were made in China and are indestructible—with all the ecological consequences.

The same cannot be said of the green plant landscape in the entrance area, bathed in the yellow light of sodium vapor lamps. On behalf of the artist, Kunsthalle Osnabrueck conducts a highly sensitive lending business here. In the absence of extensive art collecting in the so called City of Peace, citizens were called upon to raise their houseplants to art status. The curators are now responsible for the careful care of sensitive objects, whose finiteness is always present in the awareness of lenders and borrower.

The Osnabrueck solo exhibition by Christoph Faulhaber shows, in addition to the two in-house productions for the foyer and the former nave, which with an exhibition space of about one thousand square meters and a height of 21 meters is certainly among the most demanding production locations in Germany, also a kind of retrospective of the artist "in nuce": 16 projects will be presented as videos and in the archive presentation specially created for the exhibition one can study the context and the working method of the artist with 15 examples. In addition, the Reconstruction of the Amber Room is reconstructed and there are numerous smaller individual works to see.

The two site-specific productions seamlessly follow Osnabrueck's history and everyday culture. Friedrich Vordemberge –Gildewert, co-founder of the Concrete Art movement, is a celebrated son of the city and already in 2015 the Kunsthalle Osnabrück was following in its footsteps in the exhibition "Concretely more space" with geometric design formats in art and architecture. Since then, the permanent installation of the Gildewart Line by Pedro Cabrita Reis has been part of the exterior façade of the Kunsthalle Osnabrueck and visualizes the examination of the Osnabrueck-born graphic artist, painter and sculptor Friedrich Vordemberge-Gildewart (1988-1962).

Curia, the plant landscape in the foyer also opens up against the ecological background of Osnabrück: the city is the seat of the German Federal Foundation for the Environment and the largest city in Germany to be entirely surrounded by a nature reserve.

Faulhaber now puts to the test both forms of self-understanding, the heritage of Concrete Art as well as the environmental awareness of his hometown. In 2010, the artist finished an interview with the art critic Oliver Zybok with the following words:

"Those who cannot stand the fact that art is capable of destroying a world in order to build a new one have not taken a close look at the Conditio Humana and the evolution of the history of ideas." (Kunstforum International, Vol. 205).

 

The show has been curated by Julia Draganovic with assistance of Anna Bittner. It has been made possible thanks to the collaboration with the Freunde der Kunsthalle Osnabrück e.V. and the support of Landschaftsverband Osnabrücker Land e.V., Niedersächsisches Ministerium für Wissenschaft und Kunst, Stiftung Kunstfonds and Stiftung Sparkasse Osnabrück.

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