1998. Installation. Hafermagazin Landau, Germany
Foil Sheet 18.5 x 13.5 m, pool, bubble bath, silicone, pumps, plastic tubes

 

 

The plaster of the former lift shaft in the middle of the old military laundry was peeled off. The cube stands brightly red and loudly roaring in a “sea of foam” in the flooded space.

1998. Installation. Hafermagazin Landau, Germany
Foil Sheet 18.5 x 13.5 m, pool, bubble bath, silicone, pumps, plastic tubes

 

 

A muffled drone and a soapy smell hang in the air. The attention of visitors entering the dark, grey, concrete room is immediately attracted by a brightly lit area in the center that gradually takes on the proportions of the room, rising like a strange island out of its surroundings. Brilliant white foam overflows the edge of a low reservoir, forming a slightly moving, constantly changing, knee-high relief.

An unusually transient and playful sculptural element, the foam grows profusely with little restriction, giving rise to organic shapes and evolving into an overwhelming “sculpture”; its smell fills the whole room.

In the middle of the reservoir of soapsuds-generating water stands the former lift shaft, which, like the room as a whole, is divided into even segments by concrete pillars. Although once covered by the paint layers of many years, the plaster of the shaft has now been chipped away to reveal the reddish-brown brickwork, transforming the shaft and letting it appear in a new light. The metal doors are freshly painted, and the concrete lintel has been cleaned. A layer of transparent silicon seals the brickwork and improves its appearance with an oily shine. The mortar between the bricks has been partially removed, leaving channels in which thin, transparent plastic tubes have been installed. The tubes protrude slightly, creating a tube pattern that emphasizes the brickwork. Through the tubes, air is pumped down from several pumps concealed below the ceiling, to create bubbles in the water.
The red, glistening lift shaft with its plastic veins and closed door stands protected by the soapsuds washing around its base. It forms a powerful and unpleasantly loud nucleus, built up into different frames, whose outermost skin depicts itself in the walls of the building.

The installation makes reference to the room's former use as a military laundry after the second world war. The idea is that the room is now spewing out its memories and impressions from that time. The starting point for this artistic intervention was the idea that the soapsuds that had gone down the drain could re-emerge, cleansed, from the floor and the past into the present.
In this formerly intimate space, where personal items of clothing were exposed, there is now a dialogue between the lift shaft and the soapsuds. The installation raises questions about controlling institutions, suggests different points of view and asks what, exactly, is being washed - brainwashed?

Air base 30°,60°,95° works with the architectural and historical features of the site.
The reference to the site's former use and the surrealistic aspects create a mysterious situation and provide a spacious 'landing strip' for ideas and associations.

1998. Rauminstallation. Hafermagazin Landau. Folienbecken 18,5 x 13,5 m, Schaumbad, Silikon, Membranpumpen, Plastikschläuche

 

Christine Biehler hat dabei gewiss das dynamischste und sinnlichste Kunstwerk geschaffen, indem sie gleichsam eine prozessuale Skulptur aus Schaum kreierte, die von – dekorativ um das ehemalige Aufzugshäuschen – gelegten Silikonschläuchen künstlich beatmet wird.

(Gabriele Weingärtner, Die Rheinpfalz, 9/1998)

 

Christine Biehler weicht Räume und Vorstellungen auf.

(Gottfried Hafemann, Katalog DER ORT. Wiesbaden. 2000, S. 27)

 

Die Künstlerin hat mit Air base 30°,60°,95° eine prozessuale Skulptur geschaffen, die minimalistisches Formvokabular und Prozessualität vereint. Biehlers Interesse an der Geschichte von Räumen und an Materialien löst sich in diesem Werk beispielhaft ein.

(Melanie Rick, Klasse:Buch - 64 Positionen aus der Klasse Eißfeldt, Kehrer Verlag 2014, S. 244)