Black Square, Circle, Triangle Remnant (2007) is the most recent manifestation of a series of performative sculptures that reenact the memory of itself as a fragment of a once enacted performative space. It is made up of two pieces that face each other. The first section to confront the viewer is the wall fragment. This 1.5m wide piece of drywall was taken from an installation called Black Square, Circle, Triangle, (2007) that I did in my studio which had been inspired by other works I called Body-Walls which are shown in this folio later on.
These walls are performative sculptures made over time that can be made in any space whatever. In the case of Untitled Program, 2006 a hybrid space measuring 60cm wide was created by building a mimetic wall that followed the contour of the already existing wall inside the gallery. Produced over a two-week period in the space itself this work was the result of a series of decisions made there. The work is a testament of that decision making process. Embedded in the wall were a number of viewing opportunities that ranged from a simple hole from which one could view the rest of the gallery to that of an opportunity to witness Catherine Deneuve looking through a peephole in the now famous scene from Belle de Jour. As such the visitors to the gallery became actors in a back stage scenario in which they enter the hybrid space of architectural memory to reenact the history of cinema itself through a series of transitional apparatti that produce new chances for observation. At the end of the exhibition this wall was cut up and undone and re-installed as Untitled Program, Remnant, (2006).
This same scenario created Black, Square, Circle, Triangle but in this case a wall was built in my own studio as a laboratory Merzbau in order to be able to experiment with different possibilities and potentials of these works. The studio in this instance is a place of resistance where research into ones own work and potential stands in for the resistant gestures of the Body-Wall works as they respond to the Institutional Space of the White Cube. The white cube as it is defined in the age of neo-liberal capitalism has become a space of containment where the gestures of market system, entertainment industry and museology mix together as a sovereign cocktail. In this work the constructed wall once again mimics an already existing one that separated the front and back of my studio. Again it became an armature supporting a number of historically active optical devices that produced opportunities for seeing. In this case two stereoscopic devices were used. One in which a lit blank screen confronted the viewer and the other a three dimensional image of a young girl of the DDR looking out upon the urban horizon. The former provided an opportunity to project ones imagination on a blank screen while the latter allowed one to ponder the conditions of history itself. The space was also monitored by a surveillance security camera which looped into an exposed video monitor. Thus the space also became a place of self-reflective body awareness. These devices were housed in wooden enclosures in shapes such as squares, circles and triangles that protruded out of the wall into the space itself; thus the works name. The inside of the walls were collaged with magazine and newspaper covers from the past 100 years which I had been collecting for the past 5 years and was a nod to my own experience as a child exploring haunted houses in which the inside of the walls were insulated with old magazines. This work became the mother structure for the production of Black, Square, Circle, Triangle, Remnant (2007).
Again this wall was undone and cut up to preserve the optical instruments. One such fragment 1.5m by 1m was re-installed with the help of aluminum studs used to make the structure of the original wall in the first place. This work was installed as a free standing entity with the inside wall facing backward as shown in the House Trip exhibition. This fragment faced a second section. A photograph of the Palast der Republik in the process of its own undoing was photographed in such a way with a large format camera that it appears to be falling down and breaking apart from the inside. It is secured with screws on a piece of drywall which is attached to another stud frame of the same dimension as its brother. The back side of this structure is made up of a mirror work which stands at 90 degrees from the front wall and adds support. The back of the drywall has been taped with alternating black and white tape to create an optical illusion. That taped wall is reflected in the mirror as a “mise-en-abyme”. The lighting of the work is very important. The transparent window like effect created by the open spaces left by the mounted works creates the opportunity for the production of shadows on the walls of the space embracing the works. Altogether the undoing of the Palast is metonymic for the process of undoing of Architecture as a cultural act. The Palast was not demolished but is being slowly and meticulously taken apart. The cultural undoing, assimilation and subsuming of the communist block by Capitalism after the fall of the Berlin is re-enacted in this work.