Michel Auder and Christian Friedrich

Michel Auder and Christian Friedrich

De Hallen Haarlem

September 16, 2014

Michel Auder: Large As Life
Christian Friedrich: On Something New / Dirt in a Hole

20 September–30 November 2014

Opening: Friday 19 September, 5pm

De Hallen Haarlem
Grote Markt 16
The Netherlands


De Hallen Haarlem opens the new season with two solo exhibitions: Large As Life by Michel Auder (b. 1945, Soissons; lives and works in New York), and On Something New / Dirt in a Hole by Christian Friedrich (b. 1977, Freiburg; lives and works in Amsterdam).

Michel Auder: Large As Life brings together a selection of films, videos and Polaroid photographs by Michel Auder, taken from over 40 years of production. Auder is a voracious and versatile filmmaker, who over the span of his career has produced thousands of hours of film and video footage, and continues to do so. His archive is in many ways the dynamic center of his practice: it holds a vast repository of footage that is continuously being revisited and recontextualized by the artist. 

Since the late 1960s, Auder has staked out a highly personal territory between intuitive, diary-like recordings of his surroundings (New York City, his family and artist friends, his travels) on the one hand, and feature-length experimental films like Cleopatra (1970) and The Feature (2008) on the other hand. Constantly updating his medium, from the first portable consumer video camera up to the most recent iPhone, the artist has tirelessly sought to capture reality in both its mundane banality, and its glamorous seduction. Auder typically poses as the observer, or voyeur, eager to involve the uninitiated in the complicit act of viewing. 

Large As Life aims to cover the entire spectrum of this seminal artist’s body of work, with a focus on his single screen film and video pieces. From his portrait of Andy Warhol’s Blue Movie Superstars Viva and Louis Waldon in Keeping Busy (1969), which is shot on 35 and 16mm film in hotel rooms in Rome (and which is typical for Auder’s intimately realistic portraiture and languid observational style), to recent editing experiments like Endless Column (2011), the exhibition presents a selection of 25 film works including recent acquisitions by De Hallen Haarlem, as well as a series of Polaroid photographs created between 1978 and 1983. 

In his first institutional solo show in the Netherlands, Christian Friedrich presents a new large scale sound and light work, On Something New (Dirt in a Hole), alongside an immersive, monumental five-screen video installation, and various existing sculptures. Friedrich’s artistic interest lies in the design and manipulation of relations, both social and abstract, and the creation of conditions within which these relations can be played out—emphatically allowing for chance and improvisation to influence the process. His early drawings and sculptures are informed by cause-and-effect formulas, mining various conceptual traditions and their quasi-rational methods, both strict and frivolous. The subjugation of the human body is a recurring theme in Friedrich’s work, and is typically extended to his exhibition approach. For De Hallen Haarlem’s complex gallery structure, the artist has developed a minimal yet dominant architectural intervention, which heightens the viewer’s self-awareness, and mirrors the delineated space in which the subjects in his videos act out their performative roles. For The Stone That the Builder Rejected Twice (2008–2014), the five-screen video installation at the core of this exhibition, Friedrich invited an unsuspecting stranger he contacted via a personal ad to his studio, where the guest was confronted with a strobe-lit scenography that included the artist himself—hanging immobilized and vulnerable. In this work, the artist activates and conflates various different power relations: those between strangers, between artist and muse, and between artist and spectator. 

On Something New / Dirt in a Hole is a co-production of De Hallen Haarlem and Grazer Kunstverein, co-curated by Krist Gruijthuijsen and Xander Karskens. It is generously supported by the Mondriaan Fund.

Michel Auder and Christian Friedrich at De Hallen Haarlem
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De Hallen Haarlem
September 16, 2014

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