Olav Westphalen

26 Mar - 23 Apr 2005

Olav Westphalen
Avenger (of Widows and Orphans)
March 26th – April 23rd 2005

Olav Westphalen's sculptural project currently on view at Klosterfelde, Linienstraße, evokes notions of violence and heroism, as well as their deflation, and sentimental distortion. The title of the installation is a translation into English of the moniker Robin Hood has acquired in German language narratives (but not in the original English legends).

A wooden archery bow, purchased at a New England yard sale, becomes the centerpiece of a machine engineered to load arrows and fire them across the room towards the opposing gallery wall. Controlled to shoot at regular intervals throughout the show's duration, Avenger transforms the gallery space into a shooting gallery. A semi-high dividing wall separates the viewers from the sculpture and its potentially hazardous action. The installation creates an environment permeated with suspense as the audience awaits the sculpture's action. While the loading process is a slow, prolonged dance, the actual firing happens instantaneously, and hence nearly invisibly. The wooden bow, in itself a nostalgically veiled weapon preferably imagined in the hands of a morally validated hero, here becomes a strangely dehumanized hybrid, reminiscent of a home-made rocket launcher (think aborted RAF attack on the BKA) or a Gattlin gun.

Olav Westphalen's work has been exhibited internationally at such venues as the Kunstverein Kassel, Kunsthalle Wien, Kunst-Werke Berlin, Galerie Michael Neff, Frankfurt, Maccarone Inc. New York, Malmo Konsthall, LACE (Los Angeles), The San Diego Museum of Art, PS1 Contemporary Arts Center, and the Sculpture Center in New York. Last year, Westphalen contributed to the Whitney Biennial New York. Born in Hamburg, he currently lives in Brooklyn, New York.

For additional information please contact the gallery.

opening March 24th, 6 – 9 pm
duration of the exhibition March 26th – April 23rd 2005
opening hours Wednesdays through Saturdays, 2 – 6pm

Tags: Olav Westphalen