Mehdi Chouakri

Hans-Peter Feldmann

26 Apr - 01 Jun 2013

Exhibition view
26 April – 1 June 2013

"I am not interested in the highpoints of life. Only 5 minutes of everyday are interesting," Hans-Peter Feldmann once said, "I want to show the rest, normal life."
In many ways, Hans-Peter Feldmann’s body of work is defined by daily life and the intimacy of private moments. Itemized expositions of women’s clothing or articles from their purses, vacation photos, or a sculpture made from his private book collection – Feldmann’s work taps into and captures the ephemeral beauty often found in our personal worlds.
Feldmann’s highly personal marriage of art and life, which has included everything from his own thimble collection to photographs of himself in the midst of a sexual act, has often eschewed art as a commodity, with a complete break from public exhibition during the 1980’s. Bypassing rules such as making editions, signing or dating his work, or giving titles to his pieces, Feldmann's work reveals a sense that art world customs are extraneous to the actual art itself.
However, with a notable history of experimenting with the exhibition format, it seems that Feldmann has not been able to resist commandeering the art market as a playing field for his artistic practice and critique, exemplified in exhibitions such as the 2010 Hugo Boss Prize at the Guggenheim, where the artist fastened his prize money in one dollar bills to the wall in a piece that wasn’t for sale. Literally pinning the money that floats around the art world to the wall, Feldmann conceptualizes the sheer physical space taken up by the abstract amount of his prize, $100,000, allowing the viewer to consider the seemingly unreal financial workings of the art world in a tangible, everyday sense.
So it is unsurprising that in his latest work, Feldmann takes inspiration from a booth under installation at Art Basel, where he encountered a spotlight shining on an empty wall for a soon to be hung painting that impressed him as a work in itself.
Appealing to his fondness for overturning exhibition formats and his fascination with the unglorified moments of the everyday, Feldmann projects an illuminated rectangle over picture hooks on blue and green walls that recall a museum space. Presenting 30 such spotlights at Mehdi Chouakri for Gallery Weekend Berlin 2013, Feldmann makes light of the art market in a very sincere way, giving shape to those moments of unintended beauty that occur between sales and exhibitions. Ignoring the spectacle and finding art in an ephemeral moment, Feldmann reaffirms the artistic value of "normal life."
The artist‘s largest exhibition to date, "Kunstausstellung," can currently be seen at Hamburg's Deichtorhallen until June 2nd. Feldmann‘s work will also be featured at Wien Lukatsch and Johnen Galerie during Gallery Weekend Berlin.

– Mehdi Chouakri

Tags: Hans-Peter Feldmann