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Manipulation and Subversion in Visual Arts

23 Septemer - 23 Oktober 2011

Opening: 23/09/2011 at 20h

Artist who operate subversively and manipulate media. Artists who corrupt reports, reveal conspiracies and plan hostile take-overs.
Artists who imply, keep things in suspense and set traps. Artists who access our memory and undermine our expectations.

The exhibition HINTERHALT presents contemporary artworks in the fields of photography, installation and mixed media. But don't be too sure about that.

Participating Artists

Sarah Decristoforo, Linz
Markus Esser, Berlin
Ivars Gravlejs, Prague
Isabel Haase, Munich
Sybille Hotz, Berlin
Nicole Knauer, Munich
Ruppe Koselleck, Münster
Lars Laumann, Oslo
Michael Schäfer, Berlin
Ariane Tillmann, Dortmund
WassinkLundgren, London / Beijing
Marco Wittkowski, Dortmund

Sarah Decristoforo, Linz

cache-cache, 2010, Installation

Sarah Decristoforo plays manifoldly with the inconspicuousness of the ornament and the hidden message. Her work »cache-cache« shows a long, light curtain that covers wall and windows, displaying a seemingly decorative pattern. The closer look uncovers narrative scenes of human violence

Markus Esser, Berlin

»White Memories«, photographic work

Esser's works are reduced formally to such an extent, that they seem to be graphic art rather than depiction. Colours are vaguely receptible, the object predominates;  the loss of information, the washing out of memory is shaped with light. Although the fusion of different visual media seems to be pushed on, the work's inner logic does not result from its aesthetic approach but from Markus Esser's poetical use of camera and memory.
(from: Pressrelease about the work, Design Productions GmbH, 2008)

Ivars Gravlejs, Prag

»My Newspaper«, 2009, Fotografische Arbeit

The Latvian artist Ivars Gravleys worked as photo reporter for the Czech daily newspaper "Denik" for one year.  Before submitting his pictures at the end of the day, he manipulated some of them digitally to a greater or lesser extend.
"On the one hand Graveys deconstructs both authority in the media business and objectivity of information, on the other hand he reflects the reality of contemporary artists who are often forced to suspend their creative processes in order to work for their living ." (Milan Mikuláštík)

Isabel Haase, München

»Bewohner«, Installation

Isabel Haase creates within her space installation "Bewohner" (= inhabitants) a secret, intimate atmosphere in dimness. An obviously abandoned room full of wood shavings turns out to be a refuge for secret life through accoustic signals.

Sybille Hotz, Berlin

fall, 2005, textile, embroidered cut-outs, wool on canvas

"Fall", a group of textile figures by Sybille Hotz, displays jumping and pitching athletes, that had been hung upside down, so that they seem to be falling. They are shown in a moment of loss of control - fall as a synonym of possible failure.

Nicole Knauer, München

„Strahlend schöne Dinge“- Stealing a glance at the world of smallest things - “CURIOUS IMPLANTATION - LooPPin installation” by Nicole Knauer

Nicole Knauer creates overflowing, wavelike installations that occupy rooms space-consumingly by using thousands of cable clips.

Ruppe Koselleck, Berlin

Ein Petro Dollar - mit rohem Öl beschmierter echter Dollar, umgewertet zur Feindlichen Übernahme von BP

"Hostile Takeover of BP", since 2001, Installation, Performance:
Ruppe Koselleck creates objects and pictures out of crude oil that was found at scenes of global oil-spill disasters. With the proceeds of these works
he tries to buy the internationally operating concern BP step by step. For this purpose he will open a temporary office in the Kuenstlerhaus Dortmund.

Lars Laumann, Norwegen

»Morrissey Foretelling the Death of Diana«, 2006, video projection, 16 minutes, Courtesy Maureen Paley, London

Lars Laumann unveils in detail coherences between the album "The Queen Is Dead" (1986) by The Smiths and the death of Lady Diana in 1997.

Michael Schäfer, Berlin

»Vorbilder«, seit 2007, Fotoarbeiten, zur Zeit 12 Motive unterschiedlicher Größe

Michael Schäfer analyses visual staging of political power. His large-format panels of his series "Vorbilder" (=role models), which continue the tradition of digital montage digitally yet explicitly visible, are based on pictures of the newsmagazin "Der Spiegel". On the scanned surface of these pictures,  the two-dimensional space of grated magazine-photos, the actual protagonists of the images are overlaid with other pictures.
Private persons serve as models to the photographer, who stages them according to the original gestures, facial expressions and clothes of the photo and builds them into the primary picture. Schäfer's actors do not only mask, they burst out of the background like figures from a mid-relief, they leave the reality of the event that had been filtered by chiefs of protocol, photographers, agencies and editors and deconstruct by the means of re-enactment the medial escalation of the situation that underlies these pictures, without exposing the visual dramatic of the picture.
(from: "Von Stereotypen und Ikonen" by F. Ebner about the exhibition "Rhetorik der Bilder", Museum für Photographie, Braunschweig, 2010)

Ariane Tillmann, Dortmund

Ariane Tillmann's photographs deny a linear narrative style. The combination of the single pictures seems to be excursive and random. Out of banal, ordinary pictures originates subliminally a disturbing, scary atmosphere. Banality and insignificance are called into question subversively.
In the Kuenstlerhaus Dortmund Ariane Tillmann will develop an installed arragement of the pictures on a wall that will strenghen the fragmentarily narrative charakter of the work.

WassinkLundgren, London / Beijing

Originally dutch artists WassinkLundgren (Thijs Groot Wassink, born 1981, and Ruben Lundgren, born 1983) had a differnt idea in mind. They started a series of large-format photographs in Beijing and Shanghai, using an empty plastik bottle as a means to focus. Yet these bottles with refundable deposit were picked up by collectors each time. They made this the actual work and used those bottles as bait thus glancing at rituals of daily life in a unique way .
The publication of this work, "Empty Bottles", was awarded the price for the best contemporary photo-book at the photo-festival Rencontres d'Arles in 2007.

Marco Wittkowski, Dortmund


Marco Wittkowski photographs at night urban spaces that seem lonely, desperate and banal to him. In a processual act he destroys his analoge black-and-white material partially. By means of these uncontrollable interferences he strings together segments of pictures, recognizable to a greater or lesser extent. Wittkowski creates new pictures additively, in which he manipulates perspective and logic and questions reality.

Organisation: Barbara Koch, Dirk Pleyer, Jens Sundheim

Images ©: the artists
Images Opening ©:

kindly supported by:

Sparkasse Dortmund, Cultural Department of the City of Dortmund