I wish I could take credit for the catchy title, but that is the name of the new exhibit at Verbund, Austria’s largest electricity company, and was the April destination for the private art tour group. As always, our guide Alexandra does her best to make left-brainers like me understand why artists do the things they do; and, as always, I do my best to share my newfound wisdom with you. The focus today was on visualizing the phenomenon of spaces and places.
Let’s begin. The first installment one sees upon entering the Verbund is a split open wooden three-seater outhouse conveying the “lost sense of intimacy” of the pre-modern era that was replaced with individual stalls with smooth porcelain seats. Lost sense of intimacy is not what I’m thinking when I’m in the loo.
The rest of the exhibit was displayed in the stairwell of the building, so up to the top floor we went to continue the tour. On the landing we encountered two speakers. This particular artist split apart the lyrics from Elvis Presley’s “Love Me Tender” so that only the word “you” was heard on the left, and only the word “me” was heard on the right. I’m not sure what this has to do with spaces and places, but I did learn that Elvis sung the word “me” twice as often in the song than he sung the word “you.”
In the “secret place” between the handrail and the stairs on all levels was a series of photographs. This artist bought 50 identical pairs of boots and staged various scenes around town with them. Have I mentioned yet that all of this art was from the 70’s, when these artists were probably experimenting with much more than spaces and places?
The little boots journeyed to NYC from the west coast. Here they are admiring the view of the harbor.
Moving along, this is a photo of nothing more than a path through a field, past some bee hives, leading to the factory. The path is the “secret place” through the “open space” of the field. Right.
The photo depicts the “lost sense of intimacy” again of the old school cinema houses. For comedic relief my friend attempted to make shadow animals against the photo.
This was a group favorite, right up there with the little traveling boots. A 15 second film of a stray dog running across the sidewalk (and causing the man to trip and fall) was made from six different perspectives, including that of the dog. A monitor on each landing of the building displayed one of the perspectives. We are an easily amused group.
This stairwell exhibit I could relate to. Rows of orderly photos of similar items. Just how the world should be.
We wrapped up the tour with additional works by the artist who split the outhouse. His father wanted him to become an architect. I’m guessing that didn’t work out so well for him.
In closing, the little traveling boots are all ready for a double-feature at the drive-in.