Wolfgang Ellenrieder: Kiosk des Glücks /Lubok
9 September—7 October 2017
Josef Filipp and Lubok proudly presents:
works from the »Kiosk des Glücks« and the new artist's book »Kiosk des Glücks«
»Kiosk des Glücks – Wolfgang Ellenrieder«, artist's book, Lubok Verlag, 2017
Catalogue with 37 coloured and 13 black and white figures in offset print, designed by Susann Dietrich with texts by Steffen Kopetzky and Reinhard Spieler [german]
Paperback, 80 pages, 24 x 31,2 cm, edition of 500
The catalogue is accompanied by a zine. Riso print, 36 pages, 19 x 27,7 cm.
Published on the occasion of the solo exhibition »Kiosk des Glücks« at Städtische Galerie Kubus, Hannover and at Galerie vom Zufall und vom Glück from December 2016 until February 2017.
Wolfgang Ellenrieder's installation »Kiosk des Glücks« [kiosk of happiness] can be described as an encompassing layout of the exhibition space. He combines different surfaces that do not reveal what they truly are at first glance, relief prints, that simulate high quality materials, wood cuts, that were realized based on on-site elements of the building, and three-dimensional »colour objects«, that refer to architectural elements and ficticiously extend the space. The »Kiosk des Glücks« is a place that examines the relation between painting and space, original and reproduction. Its surfaces serve as projection screens for wishes and questions concerning real and apparent values.
The kiosk as an equaliser. By Tina Simon
At a kiosk window, the important people rushing to wherever they need to be, and the straggling good-for-nothings are indistinguishable. Their neediness unites them: tobacco, caffeine, news, nicotine, sugar, crisps—offering the legal bringers of happiness around the clock makes kiosks mini-retailers of quick comforts and moments of happiness—temptations not resisted and excuses against nightly loneliness and voyeurism turns everyone grey, and the fulfilment of minor wishes in the most remote hours of the day turns the banal into the promised land.
Wolfgang Ellenrieder’s complex spatial installation »Kiosk of Happiness« examines these shifts in value visually and metaphorically. Perception and illusion are harmonised, combine and interact formally, technically and thematically. The kiosk is at the heart of the exhibit. The spatial entity, the kiosk, is sealed. A compact symbol of itself, it has meaning above and beyond itself with all of its promises and contradictions.
Transferred to the polarities of appearance and reality, area and space, colour and shape, photographed and painted surfaces, reality and illusion, Ellenrieder breaks down all of the binding forces and instils an element of confusion. Everything is different. The strategy continues in the supplementary works in the space; the abstract and concrete are inextricably linked with one another. Natural details are interspersed with geometrical and graphical interventions, structurally consistent constructions are undermined by illogical combinations and material choices.
The architectural elements, with arbitrarily collaged surfaces of inferior materials, recycled chipboard, pinewood board, plastic cladding and cardboard seem like neo arte povera, but Ellenrieder turns that upside down too: an closer look reveals high-quality printed photographs instead of the leftover material, sophisticatedly digitised, and perfectly produced in an irritating enlargement. From undermining the value to surpassing it. And thus, some chaotic, multifaceted structures turn out to be representations of themselves—two-dimensional and flat, including the surface structure and shadows. The intrusive feel of larger-than-life corrugated cardboard is not really there. Scanned and printed, the folded product is as smooth as a high-gloss photograph.
The surface and space are intensively interlaced; Ellenrieder himself speaks of hybrids of painting, print and sculpture and emphasises the moment of transition, and frequently also the moment of surprise for the viewer, when the works reshape or break the space, when they expand surfaces via multiple additions and grow into space by adding material—or only appear to grow. And a brown, grey and pink 70s wallpaper permeates the works like a leitmotif and defines individual surfaces as walls.
In this way, Ellenrieder creates a new reality, borrowing from art history in its execution, and creates new combinations between radical realism on one hand and the illusionist deception of trompe-l’œil on the other. The mundane raw material is there—yet, like a chameleon, it simultaneously transforms into different forms of visualisation. Photography, painting, scans, texture—flowing transitions between what is real and fake merge to one big enjoyable whole, which challenges the inertia of our eyes.
Especially as the exhibition provides no indications of what real and genuine mean—and what is imitated: a fake or copy?—the unreal, fictional, arbitrary?—is this the argument for or against art?
From a purely material perspective, the deception of the scanned reproduction is a fake. However, from an artistic perspective, the ready-made is always suspect as bare material or objet trouvé. Our view flows with the transitions and variations of media, material and presentation, encouraging us to walk through tough terrain, to make astonishing encounters.
We seldom find what we expect: often, what is true is not real, and happiness is often not fulfilment—like at the kiosk at night.
—Translated by Brendan Bleheen
Dr. phil. Tina Simon
Author and publicist, Leipzig