Kunstverein Hamburg

Stefan Marx

19 Dec 2009 - 28 Nov 2010

© Stefan Marx

19. Dezember 2009 - 28. November 2010

Since March 2009, the entire building of the Kunstverein has been used for exhibition purposes. The distinction between service and exhibition space has been abandoned and the foyer is now an integral part of the exhibition programme. Every year an artist will be presenting a solo exhibition in the 100 square metres of space available. This venue-specific exhibition is the heart of the Kunstverein: this is where every visit begins, where every visitor has to return. Each presentation mediates between the various exhibitions on the ground and upper floors, accompanying and supplemented the programme over a longer period of almost a year. The series has been inaugurated with the extensive sculpture Sleeping Buddha by Daniel Milohnic, which is on show until November 2009.

For 2010 the artist Stefan Marx, born and resident in Hamburg, will be presenting an installation. The principle underlying the exhibition is variability, continuous change in the course of the year. This dynamic approach is consonant with the place and in keeping with Marx’ artistic practice.

Essential to Stefan Marx’ exhibition at the Kunstverein is that no rigid object is to be created but a flexible, adaptable space, which, in continuous variation, he fills with a monthly programme of events. There will be a mural and sculptural elements that, while integrated into a range of functional contexts, will be presentation surfaces for drawings. For example, they will serve as seating for discussions or lectures, a stage for performances, a platform for concerts, or a skateboard ramp in the Kunstverein, in the public space. Numerous drawing and sketchbooks will be added, to be renewed in the course of the exhibition. Some will disappear, others will change, others again will be integrated in various ways into the various events.

Stefan Marx’ visual language requires no knowledge of art or cultural history, no acquaintance with subjects, principles of composition, or allegorical content: what is needed is an open mind for the multifarious perspectives of narration. Individual associations can differ, feeding from broadly ranging sources, from the world of the media to everyday life. The exhibition project thus enables visitors to contribute and participate on an equal footing. This is an example of a democratic visual language, a general and open offer primarily conveyed in narrative form. This language and installation, which closely combine various drawing and sculptural elements, have a fundamentally mediating thrust: individual scenes are linked to form a pictorial “text,” which does not necessarily say everything but whose interstices can be filled in associatively to constitute a story by bringing in the person of the viewer. The pictorial understanding innate to the project thus encapsulates the pretensions of institutions concerned with communicating art and bridging the gap between art production and the public, and which seek to play a pro-active, formative role in a continuously changing society. In his exhibition, Stefan Marx embraces the concept of a Kunstverein for “all,” trying out different formats beyond the classical exhibition series that involve people from various cultural fields.

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