Andreas Burger / Jan Freuchen / Nina Katchadourian / Ivan Moudov / Armand Quetsch / Albrecht Schäfer


Exhibition view Episode 6: blank page, 2014. Photos: insitu.

The exhibition »Episode 6: blank page» focuses on art that arises from moments of inactivity, idleness or boredom – recurring phenomena known and experienced by all of us. What result may appear when an artist faces off with the infamous uninspiring blank page? What emerges when an artist experiences a period of weariness or has hours to kill? With a selection of six artists, the group exhibition aims to revisit the creative potential nestled within these idle intervals, in which neither haste, efficiency, nor expectation disturb the vagabond spirit. When premeditation, proficiency, and presumption are lost in a moment of boredom. Although boredom may procure a gloomy connotation, the outcome of these unpremeditated artistic productions can be positively surprising, driven by factors like intuition, humor, and spontaneity.

Over the course of several weeks, Andreas Burger collected random items such as empty packages, bicycle tires and other everyday rubbish found on the street he drove daily from his art studio to his apartment. Titled »4,9 km« (2014) in reference to the actual distance between the artist’s studio and his apartment, the casted transformations of what was once left behind or dumped as trash, are now fragile sculptures that one would not dare to put out on the street. The same can be said for his sculpture made of collected and stacked scraps of plaster from some of his other artwork. The neatly stacked scraps have evolved into ever growing towers reminiscent of expressionistic architecture.

Having a look at Jan Freuchen’s works »The Circle & The Square« (2014) and »Quartto stagioni« (2014), one could imagine the artist sitting in his studio maybe tired, eating the last rests of a pizza when, suddenly the innerself, or lets say the core of the pizza, appeared to the artist as what it is: pure abstraction and geometric form »The Circle & The Square«. Reducing a daily object like a pizza seemed maybe absurd and intriguing enough to start an experiment and curate a show on the topic. In case you got curious: A press text on the pizza exhibition starts with the following lines: »Mushy food stuff disperesed on the thin circle of doug, stone baked and hidden in the sterile whiteness of a cardboard box.«

»Seat Assignment« (2010 ongoing) consists of photographs, video and sounds, all made during a flight with only a camera phone and improvised materials close at hand. For this show, Nina Katchadourian presents a selection of photographs realized for »Seat Assignment« under the title »Flight Log (version 7)«. The project began spontaneously on a flight in March 2010, and the material generated during the 101 subsequent flights thereafter, which constitute the raw material of the project. »Seat Assignment« arose from a plunge in spontaneity, from thinking on your feet, and playing it by ear, from optimism for the artistic potential that lurks within the mundane, and from curiosity about the productive tension between freedom and constraint.

During a walk with his children’s dog, Armand Quetsch documented a long hedge next to a field path in a series of 16 photos, »Walk the dalk« (2014). The selected 4 works documents this hedge, which lacks any specific characteristics, much less a particular beauty. The photos were taken by coincidence and out of pure boredom, only attributing them afterwards with 4 basic colors. At first sight, Armand Quetsch’s photography resembles frontally taken documentary-snapshots, but then slowly reveal subtle sentiment through their visual vagueness and their careful arrangement, which forces viewers to feel rather than try to understand.

Albrecht Schäfer’s work »Bleistift auf Papier #13/2« (2010) shows the leftover shavings of an entirely sharpened pencil, which have been arranged as an abstract composition on a plain piece of paper. This work leads us to think that the initial attempt of the artist, while sitting in front of a blank page, was to create a drawing or to sketch an upcoming project. Repeatedly sharpening a pencil, in Shäfer’s case much more than necessary, is a typical procrastination technique used when a project’s expected starting point fails to arrive. Instead of capitulating, Schäfer takes advantage of an idle moment to give rein to his intuition and produce an unexpected work.

In his video, »Teleporting machine« (2005), Ivan Moudov practices the art of balancing on a tipped chair while leaning backward. It’s a playful gesture, most often seen among bored students, that many of us are personally familiar with. By recording numerous attempts and skillfully cutting them, Moudov gives the impression that he and the wobbly chair are constanly on the brink of falling backward. The tension created through the constant wobbling revamps the seemingly dull and senseless gesture of chair balancing into a fanciful flight of imagination, as is suggested by the title.

Andreas Burger (IT) / Jan Freuchen (NO) / Nina Katchadourian (USA) / Ivan Moudov (BG) / Armand Quetsch (LU) / Albrecht Schäfer (DE)