January 31, 2009 - Bonner Kunstverein - Mathias Poledna and Christopher Williams
January 31, 2009

Mathias Poledna and Christopher Williams


7 February – 26 April 2009

Opening Friday 6 February, 8 pm

Hochstadenring 22, 53119 Bonn, Germany
Tel. +49 228 693936, Fax +49 228 695589
Tue–Sun 11 a.m.–5 p.m., Thu 11 a.m.–7 p.m.,
closed on Mondays.

ARTOTHEK Wed, Fri 2–5 p.m.,
Thu 2–7 p.m., Sat 11 a.m.–1p.m.


The wall is not the lowest common denominator in the works of Mathias Poledna and Christopher Williams. They overlap and meet in their respective mode of image production. But their relation to the wall on which a photograph is hung, a film is projected or which simply divides or defines the room is a crucial aspect of both their works.

The conceptual self-image of the sixties and early seventies saw the wall as an essential element of a showroom’s “framing”, putting its architectural, social institutional and economic conditions on display. The shift from work to context was elementary for that generation’s artists, and the gesture of steering the attention towards the framework of exhibiting itself could even mean abandonment of the artwork within that framework.

Here, however, the frame and the artwork exist only in exchange with each other, and it is this relationship which turns the work into a piece of art. The work’s individual aspects become accessible, from subject matter through photographic mode, framing and presentation in strings of reference, in which the walls of the room are only one of many elements.

In isolating the walls as one of these elements, the flow from work to context is reversed. Not only because the walls, when on display, take on sculptural and pictorial qualities, but because the context is inseparably tied to the work by the string of references. At the same time the walls don’t directly index the social conditions the way they only could through the historically specific gesture of the work’s absence. Instead they point to the archival-typological and, for that reason, historical conditions of exhibiting itself.

The absence of pictures in this exhibition in no way signifies further abandonment of the picture. Even though the images cannot be seen, their presence remains palpable.

The conceptual connection between image and frame, work and context, however, is loosened. Only through this opening, the walls themselves can be read as historically shaped images.

Helmut Draxler, 2009

Thomas Grundmann, Chairman, Regina Wyrwoll, General Secretary of the Kunststiftung NRW, Christina Végh, Director

Wednesday 11 February 2009, 6 pm

Guided Tour Stephan Strsembski

Thursday 5 March 2009, 6 pm
Guided Tour Anna Dietz

Friday 3 April 2009, 7 pm Lecture Helmut Draxler
Helmut Draxler, Arts and Culture Theorist, lives in Berlin and is Professor for Aesthetic Theory at the Merz Akademie, Hochschule für Gestaltung, Stuttgart.

Thursday 9 April 2009, 6 pm
Guided Tour Prof. Anne-Marie Bonnet,
Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität, Bonn and Christina Végh

Friday 24 April 2009, 8 pm
An evening with Willem de Rooij
Willem de Rooij, Professor for Visual Arts, Städelschule, Frankfurt/Main

Thurdsay, 5 February, 2 pm

Anna Dietz a.dietz@bonner-kunstverein.de

The exhibition is funded by

Bonner Kunstverein

Bonner Kunstverein
Share - Mathias Poledna and Christopher Williams
  • Share