Wild Men in the Looking Glass
January 14 to February 18, 2006
curated by croy nielsen
Friday, January 13, 7 to 9 pm
Featuring works by:
Oliver Croy with Edwin Lipburger
Edwin Lipburger, Vision,
silkscreen print, 1970-1996
Courtesy the artist
concept of the wild man or the savage originally applied
to individuals who did not fit into civilised society: primitive
and dangerous beings who lived very near us but outside
the polis and its regulations. Today, it embodies the individual
who lives among us but responds to an otherness that is
not easily assimilated and threatens our way of life. Wild
Men in the Looking Glass brings together four film–
and video–works that reflect Otherness from various
points of view. Whether fictive or documentary, they focus
on individuals or small groups that form a counter-reaction,
an alternative reality or private revolutions; various acts
that express a critique of the current state of affairs,
and are imbued with a heroic desire to change the world.
Båfield’s Saving The World
reflects the inner reality of Marcel Bloemendal who suffers
from schizophrenia and believes he is a secret agent set
out to save the world. For five years Blåfield has
joined parts of his never-ending missionary journey between
the European capitals: from a demonstrating crowd in Stockholm
to a clairvoyant in Vienna. We experience reality through
the eyes of Bloemendal and are gradually convinced by his
own logic concerning his disease:” if I did not have
it I would be just boring and average, but now I can save
the world”. The film questions the problematic line
between normality and abnormality, sanity and insanity.
Oliver Croy’s Counter-Communities
#3, Republik Kugelmugel is also centred on a self-willed
person. In the early 1970s, the Austrian artist Edwin Lipburger
built a house in the shape of a ball. Provoked by a series
of complaints from the Austrian Authorities (due to missing
building licences), he declared ”Kugelmugel”
(”Ball-hill”) an independent state. This was
the beginning of an endless lawsuit between Lipburger and
the Austrian State, resulting in a six-week jail sentence
for Lipburger. The video is presented next to a selection
of Lipburger’s artworks related to the project such
as posters, photos and stamps.
The Knockers by Anssi Kasitonni is
an odd combination of rural prospects, science fiction and
television police shows. The two leading characters, a father
and son duo, express a dissatisfaction with society by their
desire to get "something more". But as they leave
to carry out a planned bank robbery, two strange creatures
living in a subterranean high tech space capsule enter the
scene. As representations of consciousness, the creatures
become alarmed whenever something immoral is about to happen.
While the film is realised with very primitive special effects
and a good deal of humor, it is also ruthlessly serious.
A similar description could be applied to David
Maljkovic’s Scene for New Heritage,
which also invokes a parallel world, however, through a
displacement in time. In the year of 2045, a group of young
men set out in a quest for their heritage and arrive at
what, to them, is an unknown place: a former monument during
the communist era in Croatia. The men begin speaking in
the tongue of ”ganga”, a traditional Croatian
folk song, performed in primitive polyphonic rhyme lines.
A clash occurs between past, present and future, as the
men’s ignorance create nervousness, and the issue
of heritage remains unsolved.
croy nielsen is an independent project
space in Berlin, run by Oliver Croy and Henrikke Nielsen.
For further information, please visit www.croynielsen.de.
This exhibition is kindly supported by FRAME, Finnish
Fund for Art Exchange the Arts Division of the Fedral Chancellery,
Austria and The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.
Wild Men in the Looking Glass was selected from
the 2005-06 proposal submissions to ART2102 by a guest committee.
The committee included Magali Arriola, Drew Heitzler, Rika
Hiro, Ronni Kimm and John Souza.
>Back to Program