2002. Installation in the exhibition „Der Berg“, Art Association Heidelberg
Colour photography ‚mountain I', foil, concrete mixer (converted),  pallet with cement bags, Styrofoam, velvet, construction lamps

 

 

As a contribution of the exhibition “The Mountain” it is claimed that everyone can produce their own mountain picture. The first mountain photograph is exhibited with material leftovers.

2002. Installation in the exhibition „Der Berg“, Art Association Heidelberg
Colour photography ‚mountain I', foil, concrete mixer (converted),  pallet with cement bags, Styrofoam, velvet, construction lamps

 

 

A dusty gray tarpaulin, marked with tape, covers the floor of the basement exhibition room. Roughly cut styrofoam blocks smeared with concrete and wax lie scattered at the rear of the room. They are apparently relicts, parts of what was once a large sculpture. A pallet waist-high with cement sacks, a concrete mixer with supporting legs that have been extended to reach the ceiling and a makeshift, hastily put together 4m x 5m large plywood board are also in the room. A spotlight illuminates a 1m x 1.3m color photograph hanging in the middle of the front wall.  The photo depicts a snow-topped mountain surrounded by a cloudy sky at dusk. A light mist at the foot of the mountain swirls over the wavy, blue surface of the water. It becomes quickly clear, however, that this highly-charged atmospheric picture is not that of a real mountain but one that has been built; it is a model of a mountain. The shiny blue water in the foreground is finely draped velvet, the sky is made up of strips of cloud wallpaper and the stone of the mountain is roughly rendered concrete.  The concrete mixer switches on every fifteen minutes and is illuminated by a construction light. The loud, rough noise of the rotating drum reminds us of a rockfall. Now it can start, now a load of cement can be poured out from above. Is this what has already happened? Our world lives with the associations that pictures give us. When we look mountain scenes on postcards, posters or calendars we often find the same picture set-up: In the foreground: a lake or a meadow, in the middle: a soaring mountain, and in the background: blue sky surrounding the peak - a cliché that says our longing for quiet grandness and sublimity is awakened and nourished when we gaze at a snowy peak.Mountain kit analyzes and deconstructs these pictures of the mountain. The procedure can be understood by the photograph “mountain I“.  As it is obvious that it has been constructed, the photograph, as a suggestion for further pictures, as a model that can be copied, reveals the pathos and the uniqueness of the picture of the mountain.The installation can also be observed from a slight elevation just as from a platform for photographing a landmark. In this way the theme of observing and perceiving is already established in the special nature of the place. The lowest lying room of the art society building has been transformed into a construction site, a picture production site providing insight into the profane mechanism of taking pictures where it is alleged that pictures of natural phenomena can at any time also be copied for everyday domestic use. 

The installation as a construction kit, as the title suggests, gives instructions to the model maker and positions itself - as the model itself - at the interface between functionless autonomy and an alleged predetermined purpose. The absurd offer to “build your own mountain” with regional cement provided at the ready creates a whimsical and critical comment on the group exhibition as a whole, where it can be assured that as many pictures of the mountain exist as there are viewers who imagine them.     

2002. Rauminstallation im Rahmen der Ausstellung „Der Berg“, Kunstverein Heidelberg. Farbfotografie ‚Berg I', Folie, Betonmischmaschine umgebaut, Palette mit Zementsäcken, Styropor, Samt, Baulampen

 

Unten im Studio hat die in Landau geborene, nach ihren Studien in Mainz, Berlin und Braunschweig nun in Frankfurt/M. ansässige Künstlerin Christine Biehler (*1964) einen Kommentar zu der Vielzahl von Berg Bildern verfaßt, die in der Ausstellung gezeigt werden. Jeder hat doch wohl sein eigenes Bild vom Berg, also: Do it yourself!

Die Künstlerin hat das Studio des Kunstvereins in eine «Berg Baustelle» verwandelt. Zement, Styropor, Betonmaschine und weitere Utensilien laden die Betrachter ein, sich ihren eigenen Berg zu bauen  – ein Foto an der Wand zeigt eine mögliche Variante. Der abgebildete Berg ist tatssächlich in den Räumen des Kunstvereins entstanden. Die Künstlerin arbeitete über eine Woche daran,um ihn zu fotografieren und danach wieder zu zerstören – die einzelnen Teile finden sich in der Installation wieder.

Christine Biehler sucht in ihrer Arbeit die Interaktion des Besuchers, jedoch nicht praktisch, sondern theoretisch, gedanklich. Sie bietet dem Betrachter die Möglichkeit, das umfassende Thema des Berges allein für sich zu «bearbeiten» und zu bestimmen, ohne den Blick in eine bestimmte Richtung zu lenken. So offen und vielfältig wie das Thema, so offen und vielfältig sind die möglichen Resultate ihrer Arbeit (vgl. Kat. S. 316)

(Christine Breitschopf und Hans Gercke, Gegenwärts, 7/2002)