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›Model Boys‹ 06/06/2015 — 11/07/2015

›Model Boys‹ 06/06/2015 — 11/07/2015

Constance 0 6/06/2015 — 11/07/2015

Model boys – The slides tell the story of an entire life. The installation “The Cube” includes more than 20,000 35mm slides from the years 1957 to 2000. The entire photo archive of a family. But not a single motif can be clearly recognized. Falk von Traubenberg filled the slides into preserving jars and sealed them tightly. In this way, the artist, born in 1971, approaches the subject of portrait photography in an unusual way. The viewer sees the abundance of slides, but it is up to him to fill them with meaning. What the slides represent must be imagined in the viewer's inner eye. The real images only emerge in our heads.

The installation shows something that cannot be seen in detail. If you were to open the jars, you would probably not find any sensational scenes. It is probably a completely normal family life. Photos of children, of holidays and family celebrations. A typical life of an average German family. The title of the installation - "black red gold" - alludes to this. Von Traubenberg has arranged the jars in rows of three by three. Two fluorescent tubes separate the rows of three and reinforce the association with a flag. In total, the work measures an impressive nine metres in length.

One can interpret von Traubenberg's installation as a statement against the glass man and the flood of images of our time. The artist, who lives and works in Hamburg, studied architecture in Konstanz. In addition to other smaller works, which also deal with preserving jars and their invisible contents - again slides - the exhibition also includes a second group of works. For this, von Traubenberg converts text or language into an image. Abstract compositions emerge. The texts they are based on remain unclear.

Gallery owner Juliane Lachenmann has placed von Traubenberg alongside the Leipzig artist Jirka Pfahl, born in 1976. A combination that is convincing, even if the two artists ultimately do not have much in common. Added to this is a catchy exhibition title that arouses curiosity and attention. "Musterknaben" stands out simply because German exhibition titles have become a rare commodity on the German art market. But why?

Jirka Pfahl's folds are all about strict patterns. Precise folds provide a grid for his works. But the mathematically strict form is repeatedly broken up: by the light that hits the relief-like folds and the viewing angle, which, as soon as the viewer changes his position slightly, constantly changes the view of the work of art. Exciting patterns are also created by the colors that form the background of the picture.

The artist's frottages have a completely different character. Using this classic rubbing technique, Pfahl transfers the back of an old carpet and creates a huge mural from it. From a distance, the original carpet pattern can at least be guessed at. The most interesting, however, are the works in which Pfahl combines the various techniques. A screen print, a fold, frottage and drawing. For the latter, the Leipzig artist does not need a pen. Instead: cable ties. Pfahl plays with the materials - no matter how ordinary or unusual they may be.

For example, a hammer. The concrete casts of hammer blows lined up next to one another create an astonishing dynamic. The hammer is the symbol of craftsmanship and work and has been used and ideologically distorted by various regimes. Jirka Pfahl shows that even brute force can lead to a work of art.

(Dr. Florian Weiland in the Südkurier on 18.06.2015)

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