Kunstverein in Hamburg, Hamburg. 23 Sep – 12 Nov 2017.
“On the occasion of its 200th anniversary, the Kunstverein in Hamburg presents a solo show by Wolfgang Tillmans (*1968, Remscheid, lives and works in Berlin) featuring a new work consistently developed from his art of the past 30 years. Tillmans’ installation There were 30 years between 1943 and 1973. 30 years from 1973 was the year 2003 is not a typical exhibition for the artist, although thoughts about space and sculpture have always been a crucial element of his work. The show takes the exhibition space and its inner-city context itself as a starting point and transforms it into a cineastic whole. The switched-off ceiling light, with over half of the space being dipped into semi-darkness, and the tilting axis of images of the Atlantic suggest disorientation. The parts of the space that are normally not noticed or in use are highlighted. The staging of the space draws from Tillmans’ observation that, “Whenever I stand in the exhibition hall I have a strong acoustic perception of the outside, the streets and the train tracks, especially because I cannot see through the high walls beneath the windows.“
The limits of the visible are manifested in the photographs from different work phases, as is especially evident in the self-portrait in infrared light. Chronologically, the exhibition begins with black-and-white images from the late 1980s done with the first laser photocopier, based on the artist’s travels and his years in Hamburg, i.e. showing the Hafenstraße or a blind married couple he met during his civil service. The sound installation evokes Hamburg as an abstract entity – changing between melodic and atonal phases just like Tillmans’ subjects shift between figuration, formal aesthetics and abstraction..”
*text sourcedocumentors: rudolf fitzgerald leonard, annika birgel camera: gh5, x-pro1