"When we hung the tree in the garden of the Haus am Waldsee with tapes in late summer, lots of it kept falling down onto the green meadow turning it increasingly black in the light of the evening sun. – A vast “sound carpet” spread out and the last rays of the sun were so intensely reflected by the black metallic gloss of the cassette tapes that it created the impression of moving on a deep black sea – full of music. As the dark became more intense – through night falling over our black meadow – the garden became a universe."
Gregor Hildebrandt rigorously pursues his artistic concept, creating works on canvas and paper, or even extensive installations, from cassette tape. The rational strict use of form clearly evokes the 1960s and 70s minimal and concept art. Here, though, Hildebrandt poses questions about artistic creation, reduction and serial art production just as much as he does about the raw materiality that gives the shaded black and brown colours substance. And yet such an explanation is, ultimately, too simplistic. Hildebrandt’s works also contain a hidden latent romanticism, an antithesis to the surface minimalist stringency. The heart of his works is always the music on the tapes, songs related to the particular work. The songs are mainly from a range of genres in the 1980s and 90s but without exception conjure up a dark, sentimental mood – yet here the narrative elements are always subordinate to the stringent conceptualism.
For Rohkunstbau, Hildebrandt has covered the floor in a large carpet composed of an extremely unusual material – shiny black cassette tape. At another point in the building, a four-meter-high tower of vinyl soars into the air. Analogously to the Atlantis myths, these works tell of a vanished era that always appears in an idealised form in our memories. Although we cannot really hear it, the music integrated into Hildebrandt’s works fills the room, overwhelms our imaginations and transports us back into the 1970s, awakening a nostalgic dream of another feeling for life.
Selected Solo Exhibitions
2009 Der Himmel im Raum, Berlinische Galerie, Berlin, Germany
2008 Front Room, Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, St. Louis, USA
2008 Statement Basel, Jan Wentrup Gallery, Berlin, Art 39 Basel, Switzerland
2008 “und im Garten blüht ein Blumenbeet“, Haus am Waldsee, Berlin, Germany
2007 Zum Wohl der Tränen, Almine Rech Gallery, Paris, France
Selected Group Exhibitons
2009 Berlin 2000, Pace Wildenstein Gallery, New York, USA
2008 The Demolition Party, Le royal Monceau SA, Paris, France
2007 At home, Yvon Lambert Gallery, New York, USA
2005 36 x 27 x 10, White Cube, Berlin, Germany
2002 Sounds, G7, Berlin, Germany