Final Fantasy – Flight Recorders: A Collage of Speculations
The works of Mariele Neudecker play with perception and illusion. Mountainous landscapes hang upside down in glass balls and are reflected in murky water; these landscapes aquariums offer the beholder the classical pictorial structure of foreground, middle ground and background in a graphic three-dimensional form. Her spatial and sound installations draw as much on a Victorian England inspired by Henry James as they do on German Romanticism’s Caspar David Friedrich, probably its most famous representative. With meticulous detail, she constructs deserted, decaying architectural sculptures, then captures these abandoned settings as video scenes of landscapes devoid of a human presence. Loneliness and melancholy are staged in technically perfect illusory spaces, offering the beholder constantly changing perspectives on the seemingly familiar and, through this process, consciously challenging the way it is perceived.
For Rohkunstbau, Mariele Neudecker is showing two of her landscape aquariums created especially for this exhibition. They are set facing each other – separated by a semi-mirrored glass door which is both transparent and reflective at the same time. The power of the illusion is perfect: initially, the beholder only perceives a reflection before a similar object is seen on the other side. In addition, in a kind of darkroom, the artist is showing photos of long-range missiles and the reproduction of two flight recorders. These works are supplemented by a graphite rubbing of a Hercules missile hanging down the entire length of the tower at Schloss Marquardt – here, the insignia of the power of people using technology to defy the law of gravity is manifested in a monumental drawing.
Mariele Neudecker herself says about her work:
I often look at situations where a contradictorily, simultaneous, coinciding of two conflicting proposals or ‘arguments’ is taking place. The objective versus the subjective, the enticing and frustrating, the dilemma of theories of time.
By replicating the airplane black boxes, they seem to contain the tantalising promise of recorded truth, ultimate knowledge, of insight free from illusion – at the same time one is perfectly aware of their and our superimposed conceptual construction. They are not trying to be exact replications, hence I allow for subtle change in scale and solid colour or transparent materials.
The impermeable black casing in its mute way speaks to us about concealment, about secrets to be unravelled, about projections we make about the unknown. Our faith in technology is often underpinned by very subjective interpretations; technology both destroys and ‘allows’ human fiction.
Selected Solo Exhibitions
2010 Mariele Neudecker, Galerie Barabara Thumm, Berlin, Germany
2010 Kindertotenlied, Howard Assembly Rooms at Opera North, Leeds, UK
2009 Stay Forever and Never Come Back, The Dovecote, Studio, Aldeburgh Music, Snape Maltings, Suffolk, UK
2005 Over and Over, Again and Again, Tate Britain, London, Tate St Ives, Cornwall, UK
Selected Group Exhibitions
2010 The Fourth Plinth, Maquette exhibition of shortlisted artists, St Martin in the Fields, London, UK
2010 11. TRIENNALE KLEINPLASTIK 2010, LARGER THAN LIFE – STRANGER THAN FICTION, Fellbach, Germany
2009 GSK Contemporary: eARTh, Royal Academy of Arts, London UK
2009 Cafka.09: Veracity, Contemporary Art Forum, Kitchener and Area, Ontario, Canada
2008 Wonder, Singapore Biennal, Singapore