Installation view, Angela Bulloch, Space Fiction Object, Galerie Eva Presenhuber, Löwenbräu Areal, Zurich, 2016
Galerie Eva Presenhuber is pleased to present “Space Fiction Object,” an exhibition featuring new works by Angela Bulloch. Following the shows “Prototypes” (2000), “Antimatter3” (2004), and “V“ (2008), this is the fourth solo exhibition at the gallery, dedicated to the Berlin-based British artist.
In her latest works, Angela Bulloch studies how the interaction with objects structures and motivates our movement in space, as well as the differences in our perception of digital and real space. In doing so, she continues her preoccupation with control systems and the need to decipher them. Her new works include lights that go on and off, thus forcing the viewer to interact with them. Like all of Angela Bulloch‘s control systems, they constantly scrutinize the way we interact with pre-existing sign systems.
The title “Space Fiction Object” evokes the idea of Science Fiction. Nonetheless, it doesn’t focus on images of technology but rather on the more abstract entities space and object with which Angela Bulloch deals in a very concrete way. The exhibition features new stacked columns, large-sized wall paintings, and three paravents. The gallery is divided by a wall that serves on both sides as a surface for the wall paintings and at the same time hides a part of the gallery.
In a previous exhibition, Angela Bulloch installed an iPad on top of one column where one could play a game. The player needs to find their way through 3D animated objects that appear realistic on the screen. In “Space Fiction Object“, it‘s the other way around: The Stacks are real objects in real space, but they seem to be an animated illusion in digital space – as if they had fallen directly out of the screen.
In actual fact, they were digitally modeled. Furthermore, the spotless monochrome surfaces are in primary colors and are darker on the lower faces of the polyhedra, as if there were shadows. These shadows are however too perfect to derive from the gallery lighting. In combination with the wall paintings, the stacks create an illusion of digital space in the real. Despite their digital appearance and their inorganic form, the columns appear to be alive. The irregular angles in the repeated rhombic form confuse the gaze and destroy the brain’s anticipation of regular geometric forms.
Two of the columns are made of Corian and illuminated from within. They clearly present themselves as a couple. Referring to C.G. Jung’s archetypal concept they are titled Anima Mary and Animus Adam.
Like the stacks, the paravents appear animated. They are formed from rectangular MDF-plates, which are lacquered on one side and oiled on the other. The voids between them let the view pass, so that, if there is no sculpture behind the paravent, the white gallery space becomes part of the work. This feeds the spectator‘s need to move around the sculptures. Showing new wall paintings, Angela Bulloch presents a series of works that expand her preoccupation with space and object. The wall paintings, composed of monochrome surfaces, have no depth. They mirror the rhombic forms of the stacks and contrast their objectness. Again, the stereoscopic vision is disturbed: The only way to differentiate between object and surface is to move around.
In “Space Fiction Object“ Angela Bulloch blurs the boundary between what is 2D and 3D: The analog, real space appears digital. Nevertheless, the irregularity of the totem-like stacks and the waver of the paravents allows them to appear animate and to make the spectator move around and interact with them. The space within the exhibition seems to be dropped out of reality, but through communication with other objects – satellites – the stacks always “know“ where they are: One of them has a GPS built-in, which remains invisible for the spectator. In their concreteness, the sculptures of „Space Fiction Object“ are easy to understand, but the overall impression is elusive so that you always want to see them again and anew.
Angela Bulloch was born 1966 in Rainy River, Canada, and currently lives and works in Berlin. Her first solo exhibition with Eva Presenhuber took place at Galerie Walcheturm, Zurich (1996). Her work is represented in major museums and private collections worldwide, including Lenbachhaus, Munich; Kunstmuseum, Bonn; Tate, London; Le Consortium Dijon; Albright Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, De Pont, Tilburg, and the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi. Recent solo exhibitions include Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, Rotterdam (2012); Städtische Galerie Wolfsburg (2011); and Lenbachhaus, Munich (2008). Major museum group shows include Walk the Line, Neue Wege der Zeichnung, Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg, Wolfsburg (2015); Tele-Gen – Die Sprache des Fernsehens im Spiegel der Kunst 1964 – 2015, Kunstmuseum Bonn, Bonn (2015); Seeing through Light. Selections from the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi Collection, The Guggenheim Abu Dhabi (2014); Collection on Display, Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Zürich (2013). Her work will also be included at the exhibition Almanach 16, Le Consortium, Dijon, opening February 20, 2016.