PETER KOGLER   Solo Exhibition     19 I 02 I 00 - 30 I 04 I 2000        
           
             
               
    Peter Kogler (born 1959 in Innsbruck, lives in Vienna) is among the internationally most successful Austrian artists of his generation. Despite invitations to participate in numerous prestigious exhibitions of the last decade - the Venice Biennale (1995) or the documenta in Kassel (1992 and 1997), for example - there has been no comprehensive presentation of his work until now.
The Kunsthaus Bregenz exhibition is the first representative exhibition of central works by Peter Kogler from the years 1986-2000, touching on all his major themes and groups of work. Kogler has designed an installation for the Kunsthaus foyer which refers directly to the architecture of the space. He covers the three glass walls, so characteristic of the building, entirely with curtains which he has patterned in a tube-motif typical of his work. Aided by a computer, a repeating grid pattern of tubes was created and applied to the material so that the tubes not only occupy the entire textile base, but point out to all sides beyond the edges of the curtains and reach into the surrounding space. An integral part of this spatial installation is the video piece in blue-box technique, a collaboration with Heimo Zobernig, which takes up the tube structure of the curtains, underlaying it with a video film. The moving pictures contrast the rigid tubular structure and are themselves perceived as if through a coarse screen.
The projection expands the borders of the exhibition space by opening a virtual window to a view of life on the street beyond the wall. With the tube - next to the ant and the brain the best known and most reduced of Peter Kogler´s motifs - the artist has "created a clear and simple symbol of every form of wiring, switching and networking" (Anselm Wagner) which refers to the broadcasting channels of technologized societies. Like the serial multiplication of simple basic modules, the curtain has also come to identify Kogler´s work - an in many respects ambivalent medium that stands in relation to the architecture, yet at the same time is detached from it and creates an independent genre between painting and sculpture.
   
               
   
             

  Peter Kogler has also used wallpaper - like the curtain traditionally assigned to the area of design or interior design - as a carrier of pictorial images in numerous spatial installations since the late eighties. In Bregenz he covers the exterior walls and entrance area of a walk-in "room within the room" with wallpaper again printed with the tubular motif. Compared to the rigid bar structures of the foyer installation, the tubes here take on organic, winding forms and overgrow the walls like plants or bloodstreams.
Two video films are projected inside this "house". The complex spatial installation which combines various media and stands in the middle of the exhibition space enters into a dialogue with Kogler´s early picture objects presented on the walls of the first upper floor. These works from the mid-eighties are based on computer graphics which were transferred to monochrome canvases and belong to the earliest computer-generated pictures in the art field. Monumental heads are recognizable in one of the series, heads which, according to Anselm Wagner, "are, however, exposed to a permanent vanishing; if one moves too close, then the physiognomies immediately disperse in the allover of the digital pattern; the only remaining reality are the pixels of the binary system.
With this work group Kogler achieves a convincing solution to a virulent problem: finding a clear metaphor for the dubious nature and, in the end, the absence of the individual in the net of bits and bytes." Various plastic scultpures and spatial objects created in the end of the nineties are presented on the second floor of the Kunsthaus. Besides a pneumatic sculpture in the form of an oversized transparent tube, created in cooperation with Manfred Plottegg, several of Kogler´s "UNITS", walk-in containers or room modules are exhibited, which, like the curtains and wallpaper, skip the usual boundaries between (interior) architecture and art, furniture design and sculpture. The modules Kogler has chosen here are no longer only symbolically illustrated, but complete the step toward the object and take on tangible forms in real space. On the top floor, as already in the foyer, the visitor is surrounded by a grid of computer-generated tubes - here, however, composed of numerous, wall-covering video projections and set into visual oscillation.
   
               
1991   1995199419931992  
             

  Franz Pomassl´s sound concept, specially designed for this installation, reinforces the dynamic spatial development: "Enclosed on all sides by the pulsating movement of the projections and the sound, with no assurance of a fixed, given, and unchanging position within the installation whatsoever, distance can only be maintained with utmost difficulty. The uninterrupted fluctuation of the room dimensions creates a visual suction by which the viewer can no more remain unaffected than the form of the module itself apparently can. The original formal motif of the pipe loses its contours again and again in indifferent and organic-looking forms. Through the computer-generated dissolution of the once fixed, clearly-defined, and controlled form of the pipe into organically-spreading meanders, the movement - formerly only intellectually intrinsic to the original motif - now begins to work dynamically on the outer form as well and thereby on the room it occupies," thus Kathrin Rhomberg in the exhibition catalogue. In the lecture hall on the first basement floor there is the documention of the "CAVE", a video project realized by Kogler together with Franz Pomassl and the Ars Electronica Futurelab in 1999 for the Ars Electronica in Linz. The corridors and tunnels of the computer generated space can be explored with a programmed tour. A strongly perspectival spatial impression and simulated speed dominate perception. In this context Kogler´s modules - tubes, ants, brains and biomorphic forms - serve as textures for a three-dimensional model whose outer side can be explored as well.
   
               
1998   199919971996  
             
    A catalogue will appear on the occasion of the exhibition, published by the Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König (Cologne) with texts by Ami Barak, Robert Fleck, Martin Prinzhorn and Kathrin Rhomberg;
200 pages, numerous color illustrations, ed. Kunsthaus Bregenz/Edelbert Köb, 300,--ATS.
   
           
         
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