Reading the Air

Kalas Liebfried

19.11.2021 – 21.01.2022

Kalas Liebfried, Reading the Air, 2021, installation view

Kalas Liebfried, Reading the Air, 2021, installation view

Kalas Liebfried, Sonic Ghost (Franz Marc In The Jungle, Breathing), 2021 custom made kimono, hi-fi system, speaker

Kalas Liebfried, Sonic Ghost (Franz Marc In The Jungle, Breathing), 2021 custom made kimono, hi-fi system, speaker

Kalas Liebfried, Sonic Ghost (Franz Marc In The Jungle, Breathing), 2021 custom made kimono, hi-fi system, speaker

Kalas Liebfried, Reading the Air, 2021, installation view

Kalas Liebfried, Death Mask (Choromatsu Listenining To ‘In the Air Tonight’), 2021 silicon, hair, headphones, mirrors, wooden box and stand 

Kalas Liebfried, Death Mask (Choromatsu Listenining To ‘In the Air Tonight’), 2021 silicon, hair, headphones, mirrors, wooden box and stand 

 

Kalas Liebfried, Death Mask (Choromatsu Listenining To ‘In the Air Tonight’), 2021 silicon, hair, headphones, mirrors, wooden box and stand 

Kalas Liebfried, Death Mask (Choromatsu Listenining To ‘In the Air Tonight’), 2021 silicon, hair, headphones, mirrors, wooden box and stand 

Kalas Liebfried, Death Mask (Choromatsu Listenining To ‘In the Air Tonight’), 2021 silicon, hair, headphones, mirrors, wooden box and stand 

Kalas Liebfried, Death Mask (Choromatsu Listenining To ‘In the Air Tonight’), 2021 silicon, hair, headphones, mirrors, wooden box and stand 

Kalas Liebfried, Death Mask (Choromatsu Listenining To ‘In the Air Tonight’), 2021 silicon, hair, headphones, mirrors, wooden box and stand 

Kalas Liebfried, Japanese Landscape (Blue Screen Ambience), 2021 print on affiche paper, aluminium frame
Edition of 20 (+2AP)

Kalas Liebfried, Japanese Landscape (Blue Screen Ambience), 2021 print on affiche paper, aluminium frame
Edition of 20 (+2AP)

Kalas Liebfried, Skinning (Walkman Emblem), 2021 silk paper, varnish
Edition of 3 (+1AP)

Kalas Liebfried, Skinning (Walkman Emblem), 2021 silk paper, varnish
Edition of 3 (+1AP)

Kalas Liebfried, Marbled Evolution (Choromatsu‘s Ear), 2021 silicon, Edition of 10 (+2AP)

 

Photography: Mathias Reitz Zausinger

When we first see Choromatsu, the monkey starring in Sony’s groundbreaking commercial, he is standing still, eyes closed, listening to music on his walkman. He seems at peace, lost in his hidden inner world. He breathes deeply and slowly. We then read in subtitles below, ‘The progress in sound continues, but what about mankind?’ For music can now be everywhere. Not limited to the concert hall or the family piano, the radio or the hifi, it is now outside, with us, in nature.

For Kalas Liebfried, this is the point at which music becomes truly impressionist, catching up with the history of art. Impressionism in painting was in part a consequence of artists, who with the help of the then newly developed tubes of paint, taking their easels outside and painting en plein air. Impressionism for him is thus less about a technique or style of painting and more about bringing the outside in, or rather the inside out. 

This inside longing for the outside is what Adorno means when he writes after Kant, 

Authentic artworks, which hold fast to the idea of reconciliation with nature by making themselves completely a second nature, have consistently felt the urge, as if in need of a breath of fresh air, to step outside of themselves. Since identity is not to be their last word , they have sought consolation in first nature: Thus the last act of Figaro is played out of doors (…)

Art can be a copy of nature, in that something, anything, can be painted or drawn from life. But in the Kantian aesthetics Adorno is working with, art is like nature, because the aesthetic experience of art is based on and is the same as the aesthetic experience of natural beauty. Already when we experience nature as beautiful, we experience it as something more than it is, an image if you will. The nature that we see and feel is both the same nature as always and yet different, because it is beautiful for us. For art to share in the beauty of nature it must also have this ‘more’ and become in this way a ‘second nature’. Art that must be both itself and an excess, steps outside of itself, and this is why it seeks nature, even if, as Adorno mentions, it is only by staging Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro’s fourth act in the moonlit garden.  In nature, art can take a breath. It breathes. 

The advert for Sony’s walkman marks a moment in time in which the reconciliation between art and nature that Adorno had deemed impossible, seemed almost tangible: a rare moment of technological joy and optimism. Liebfried’s exhibition ‘Reading the Air’ is a reminder of the tangibility of this reconciliation. We see a hyperreal Choromatsu, listening with his headphones; we see his hands holding the walkman. And what we hear is the inside that always surrounds us – that we bring with us outside. This is the sound of our own breath, air rushing through the canal of our inner ear. 

Reading the Air

Kalas Liebfried

19.11.2021 – 21.02.2022

 

 

 

 

Opening: 19.11.2021, 6 – 9 pm (please note corona restrictions apply)

GiG Munich is happy to present its final exhibition of 2021, ‘Reading the Air’ with new work by Kalas Liebfried. The exhibition is part of the ‘Thinking Nature’ series hosted by GiG Munich and funded by the Department of Art and Culture, Munich.

In 1987 Sony released the iconic and groundbreaking commercial for its Walkman, featuring the Japanese macaque Choromatsu. We first see Choromatsu in profile, eyes closed, listening to music on a Walkman while standing in the mountains at the edge of a still lake: Choromatsu contemplates. Written underneath we can read, “The progress in sound continues, but what about mankind?”. This becomes the central question of Liebfried’s exhibition, a study on the technological progress in music and otherwise, the historical relation between Japanese and Western aesthetics with reference to impressionist concepts of nature and work by Franz Marc, as well as the impact of technology on the human condition and how this changes the capability to experience natural habitats. The “air” of the exhibition and its ambient methodology, is “In the Air Tonight”, the song by Phil Collins, which here the fragmented figure of a hyper-realist Choromatsu is destined to listen to forever, looping over and over again.

Link: https://vimeo.com/538598417

Kalas Liebfried (*1989 in Svishtov, Bulgaria) studied sculpture and time-based media at the Academy of Fine Arts Munich and Philosophy at the LMU Munich. Central to his installations and performances is the exploration of the sculptural and socio-political potentials of sound. Liebfried is co-running the independent art space “Rosa Stern” and is founder of “PARA” (non-label sound art organization). His works have been shown in solo presentations at i.a. the galleries of the Goethe-Institut Paris and Sofia (2021) and Nir Altman Gallery (2019); group exhibitions and performances at i.a. Lenbachhaus Munich, Sofia City Art Gallery, Onassis Foundation Athens, Pinakothek der Moderne and Kunstverein Munich. Recent awards i.a. project stipend Stiftung Kunstfonds (2020) und Kulturpreis Bayern (2019). In 2021 Kalas Liebfried published his first monograph “Obscure Ambience” (Edition Metzel).

 

 

Low Affinity

Johanna Strobel

14.10-14.11.2021

 

 

Johanna Strobel, Low Affinity, 2021, installation view

Johanna Strobel, Low Affinity, 2021, installation view

Johanna Strobel, Low Affinity, 2021, installation view

Johanna Strobel, Low Affinity, 2021, installation view

Johanna Strobel, Low Affinity, 2021, installation view

Johanna Strobel, deep connectedness, 2021, usb 2.0 extension cords, paraffin, LEDs, plugs, size variable

Johanna Strobel, deep connectedness, 2021, USB 2.0 extension cords, paraffin, LEDs, plugs, size variable (detail)

Johanna Strobel, Low Affinity, 2021, installation view

 Johanna Strobel, low affinity (blue), 2021, USB 2.0 extension cords, paraffin, LEDs, size variable, approx 200 x 30 x 30 cm

Johanna Strobel, low affinity (blue), 2021, USB 2.0 extension cords, paraffin, LEDs, size variable, approx 200 x 30 x 30 cm, (detail)

 Johanna Strobel, low affinity (white), 2021,  USB 2.0 extension cable, paraffin, LEDs, size variable, approx 200 x 35 x 35 cm (detail)

Johanna Strobel, low affinity (red), 2021, USB 2.0 extension cable, paraffin, LEDs, size variable, approx 200 x 30 x 30 cm (detail)

 Johanna Strobel, the duration of the present (red/blue), 2021, oil on wood, microcontroller, minimotors, acrylic mirror, USB cable, plug, 30 x 20 x 20 cm

 Johanna Strobel, false friends,2021, acrylic mirrors, glass, aluminum, clockworks (clockwise and counterclockwise), LEDs, USB cable, each approx. 25 x 25 x 5 cm 

 Johanna Strobel, figures, 2021, oil on wood, microcontroller, motion sensor, USB cable, LEDs, plug, acrylic mirror, rubber bands, 30.5 x 46 x 10 cm

 

 

 

The word ‘plane’ conjures up an image of a brightly lit field, on which everything and anything may stand.The field in this image is squarish, with a mathematical axis, ‘x’ cutting one way, ‘y’ the other, and ‘z’ upwards and downwards, together mapping out a grid with each thing in its own little box. To make connections between things we draw (mostly) straight lines, from one point to another.

Deleuze and Guattari would argue that we have this image of the plane because of the link between ‘plane’ and ‘plan’. When we think of a plane this way, it acts as a hidden principle.We may not see the grid itself, but the grid is what makes things visible to us. It causes the given to be given by giving things their structure, organising them, charting their development and growth. It is a plan(e) of organisation and development, a genetic plan(e) of evolution. Because we do not see the principles by which it organises things, only the result of its labours, the plane is transcendent to us and things, and likened to an idea in the mind of God.

For us the viewers, marked as we are by the ‘confirmation and selection bias’ and victim to the ‘clustering illusion’ we look for these hidden principles finding patterns where there are none, making connections between things that are not in any way related. One such idea is central to the work Johanna Strobel shows at GiG Munich, the idea of aether, the fifth element of a classical world of four, in which everything can be divided into fire, earth, air and water. It was used to explain how stars stayed up in the sky, and moved across the heavens.

But there is another idea of a plane, in and on which there is no form or structure, only activity and its lack.This plane is populated by sub-atomic particles always in the process of transformation, but with no specific aim in mind. Depending on their activity, their speed and slowness, they compose assemblages, as Deleuze and Guattari write, ‘compositions of speed’. But they do not develop, organise according to a principle.They connect, disconnect, transform, reform.What happens, happens, in endless proliferation. Instead of development there is constant dissolution.

Johanna Strobel’s work conjures up both plan(e)s.There is a longing for principle, apparent in her systematic approach, plug going into socket, light being red or blue, going on or off.We can map this world quite easily on a grid. It is clean, white, metallic.There is also the understanding of a far more dissolute world in which entropy rules, of information lost through USB cables and mnemonic devices of knot-making failing.This world is unstable, reckless, and somehow also inexplicably present.

 

 

 

Low Affinity

Johanna Strobel

14.10 – 14.11.2021

GiG Munich is happy to present the next instalment of the series Thinking Nature, featuring new work by Johanna Strobel. For her solo exhibiton low affinity, Johanna Strobel creates rhizomatic macramé-like structures from USB extension cords, using them to power her plexiglas and paraffin sculptures. 

Enthropy, the fact that once the USB 2.0 cable exceeds a certain length information gets lost while power still remains, forms the central component of this work. It ties together the ancient idea of ‘ether’ as a medium through which light travels, the fluid physics of translucency, and the decorative and practical craft of knot-making. Her practice is informed by her background in science, and explores such unwieldy concepts like time and space, information and entropy, language, the creation, attribution or suspension of meaning and the everyday perception and precipitation of these concepts in mundane life. 

Johanna Strobel is an interdisciplinary artist from Germany, currently based in New York. She holds degrees in Information Science and Mathematics and graduated in painting and graphics from the Academy of Fine Arts Munich with Honors (Meisterschuelerin of Gregor Hildebrandt) in 2017. In 2020 she received her MFA from Hunter College New York (New Genres). Since then she has participated in numerous exhibitions in Germany, Italy, Taiwan and the US, with a solo exhibition at the Municipal Museum Cordonhaus Cham, 2019. In 2020 her work has been included in The Immigrant Artist Biennial, New York, USA, Jahresgaben, Kunstverein Munich, Germany and featured online by Hauser & Wirth. Johanna was a fellowship artist in residence at NARS Foundation, Brooklyn in 2021.  


The exhibition will include an online discussion event with Dr. Beth Lord, Professor of Philosophy, School of Divinity, History, Philosophy and Art History at the University of Aberdeen.    

SWAB Barcelona Art Fair

Jane Hayes Greenwood, Lukas_Hoffmann_

7.10 – 10.10.2021

From the 5.10.2021 GiG Munich will be away, doing the SWAB fair in Barcelona Spain with Lukas Hoffmann and Jane Hayes Greenwood. Come and visit us at our stand, Booth S4, or have a look online, on the website or on SWAB’s instagram profile. During this time the work will be also available to view on GiG Munich’s Artland page. 

LOST AND FOUND

Julia Klemm, Justin Lieberman, Lilian Robl, Pat Shoulder, Johanna Strobel

30.07 – 2.09.2021

Lost and Found, 2021, installation view

Lost and Found, 2021, installation view

Lost and Found, 2021, installation view

Lost and Found, 2021, installation view

Lost and Found, 2021, installation view

Johanna Strobel, False Friends, 2021, acrylic mirrors, plastic, glass, aluminium, clockworks 

(clockwise and counterclockwise), LEDs, USB extension cords, digital timer, size variable (each approx. 25

x 25 x 5 cm)

Julia Klemm, untitled, 2020, ceramic, glaze, second-hand ceramic leopards, 76 x 30 x 33 cm

Julia Klemm, untitled, 2020, ceramic, glaze, second-hand ceramic leopards, 76 x 30 x 33 cm

Lost and Found, 2021, installation view,

Julia Klemm, untitled, 2021, ceramic, glaze, second-hand ceramic leopard, 32 x 28 x 33 cm

Julia Klemm, untitled, 2021, ceramic, glaze, second-hand ceramic leopard, 32 x 28 x 33 cm

Julia Klemm, untitled, 2021, ceramic, glaze, second-hand ceramic leopard, 32 x 28 x 33 cm

Pat Shoulder, Sun Umbrella, 2020, Steel, paint, print on textile

Lost and Found, 2021, installation view

Justin Lieberman, Obscure Readability, 2020, ceramic, glass and pedestal with sand, 41 x 22 x 12 cm (Courtesy of Galerie Christine Mayer)

Justin Lieberman, Obscure Readability, 2020, ceramic, glass and pedestal with sand, 41 x 22 x 12 cm (Courtesy of Galerie Christine Mayer)

Lilian Robl,Winning Hearts and Minds, 2016, 5 min 55 sec (plus textile bag and assorted metal objects)

A naturalist, specifically an 18th century one, likes to classify. After an expedition to the jungles of some remote land he – and it is almost always a he – takes out his specimens and begins to compare. This one looks like the second, the third does not, the fourth has some features of the first two, but also some traits seen in the third. He makes up categories and puts labels on boxes, marking the time and place at which the specimens were found. He then takes out a scalpel and cuts them open in order to examine their inner structure. Here are the muscles and these are the breathing organs. This is the skin, and under the microscope he can see the epidermal structure. Visually speaking, the naturalist proceeds mimetically, by finding patterns and organising resemblances. He looks and compares. He judges accordingly. 

There are however animals that escape the naturalist’s grasp. Fictional beings like vampires and werewolves, who live in darkness of our imaginations and spread by infecting others with their poisonous bite – these can be easily dismissed as unworthy of our serious attention. Viruses and pandemics less so. A virus can hardly be deemed alive, reproducing only in the host’s body. Although it mutates, it does not develop to evolve into ever more complex organisms. While it can be placed into groups of similar viruses, it eludes the classificatory system with its orders, families, genera and species.

The exhibition ‘Lost and Found’ has a slightly dystopian, even post-apocalyptic quality, of various objects assembled in haste and then disregarded, leftovers from a Mad-Max film set. A preview exhibition, it consists of artists who will hopefully be part of GiG Munich’s ‘Thinking Nature’ 2022 programme, which examines the relationship between man and nature, as it presents itself in thought. These artists were selected because their practices are not of class and order, but rather of mutation and infection. We see this most in Julia Klemm’s sculpture were kitsch ceramic animals are broken up and then reassembled, set precariously on their rickety plinths. Pat Shoulder’s work is collaborative, a result of an exchange of letters between the two artists during the first lockdown. The order of time is put into question with Johanna Strobel’s installations and  logic disintegrates in Lilian Robl’s videos.  There is a celebration of nature’s structures in the glass turtle shells of Justin Lieberman but again this order is not that of the naturalist. As with the others, it is a viral order of an unnatural kind.