Dani Gal, Tanja Roscic, Megan Sullivan

12 Apr - 09 May 2008

© DANI GAL: still "oscillations", 2007, video/soundinstallation, 5min44
"L‘ Éducation sentimentale"

12. April bis 9. Mai 2008
Vernissage Freitag, 11. April, 19h

„L‘ Éducation sentimentale“ (Engl. „ Sentimental education“) shows three diverse artistic strategies of appropriations of film, image and music and the deconstruction of the terms “subject” and “the Other” derived from it.
Gustave Flaubert’s novel of the same name from 1869 describes the disillusion of a young man in a big city, who’s high goals and opportunities in society fail resulting his unfulfilled love to a married woman and the disenchantment with politics his generation faces.
In the exhibition, the works on display follow this formulation of an education of feelings through the stylistic device of appropriation by deconstructing the terms “subject” and “the Other” to their basic conditions, conventions and interdependencies.
The title of the exhibition is in this understood mainly as a theoretic lead that does not try to examine formal or contextual similarities of the three positions. It is aimed to focus on strategies how these individual examinations use the subject no longer as the criterion of interpretation in opposition of “the Other”, but understand it as part of the subject, or at least cannot clearly differ from it.
In his 16mm film “Oscillations”, 2007 Dani Gal (*1975, born in Jerusalem, living in Berlin) re-enacts the last scene of the Tarkovsky film “The Skalker” from 1979: the daughter of the Stalker, seemingly in possession of telekinetic powers, sitting at a table on which three glasses move without explanation.
While in the original version of this scene it remains unresolved if the glasses move because of the telekinetic powers or simply because of the vibrations of a train passing close by the house, Dani Gal combines this classic scene in his reenactment with a rehearsal of his Frankfurt Punk band “Pornoheft ( Engl. Porn mag). According the frequencies of the bass amplifier onto which the camera was placed, the band is being filmed. The connecting element of the two scenes is the sound recording of the pauses between the rehearsels that is played independently from the two films.
Dani Gal resolves herewith ostensibly strongly different connoted image and sound elements into it’s components and discloses the ambivalence of cause and effect as well as subject and norm. “The Other” seems alienated, an eldritch, mysterious appearance of something that seems to be beyond normative explanations as well as possibly being the result of a banal interplay of simple physical incidents.
Megan Sullivan’s (*1975, American living in Berlin) collages, paintings and drawings examine the iconography of young men found in magazines and other sources of commercialised, contemporary aesthetics of men. Frozen in b/w distance, unsure gestures and fragile habitus they move on the verge of farce and enthusiastic passing fancy.
The works in the exhibition approach the mythic figure of David Kennedy, JFK’s promising young nephew (and son of Bob Kennedy) who died at age 28 of an overdose in a luxury hotel in Palm Beach in 1984. Today the figure of David Kennedy has grown obsolete except for a few photographs circulating in the internet, collected anonymously on a website by a still-devoted fan. In her latest series of works, Sullivan tries to subjectively relate to the person in the grainy snap shots, and shows more than anything an often hounded, sometimes broken-glamorous media figure. The tragic fate of David as a young boy watching his father on TV being shot, and his unsuccessful attempts to get off drugs and live up to the Kennedy name, haunts the otherwise romantic images, while at the same time they serve as projection surface where the depicted subject is nothing more than a grammar structure.
Like the hero in Flaubert’s novel, Sullivan’s works on David Kennedy epitomise a peculiar tragedy: taken from reality and nevertheless failed in it, in favour of lyrically- unfulfilled ideals.
The work of the Zurich based artist of Croatian- Albanian background Tanja Roscic (*1980) focuses less on a conceptual deconstruction rather than it’s energetic emotional execution. They follow often formally playful strategies of decomposition, appropriation and recycling of political and musical references, as often used in punk.
In this context Roscic creates drawings and sculptures but also performances and installations that show a strongly ironic confrontation with the “subject” and “the Other”. Works showing the artist are never declared as self- portrays while many works illustrate characters resembling the artist, to which Tanja Roscic refers as ideal “friends”.
Combining elements that embody the aura of glamour, protest culture and music, Roscic abstracts the staging of the subject, which appears enigmatic and obscure, but also is never afraid to reveal it’s own ridiculousness. Her work thus not only deconstructs expands aspects of the subjective persona the artist combines and confronts with, but also the references and identifications she draws. Text fragments, materials and gestures of her works might only take themselves only half serious in their attitude of refusal, glamour and suffering.

Tags: Dani Gal, Tanja Roscic