Gerhardsen Gerner

Andrea Winkler

15 Oct - 05 Nov 2011

Installation view, Gerhardsen Gerner, 2011
15 October – 5 November, 2011

Gerhardsen Gerner is pleased to announce its first solo exhibition of the Swiss artist Andrea Winkler (*1975).

Characteristic of Andrea’s work is her seemingly effortless combination of diverse elements, like the site-specific installations with found objects and sculpture.

For her exhibition Patricia at Gerhardsen Gerner, Andrea Winkler has created a complex, three-dimensional spatial collage based on the different rooms of the gallery itself. What emerges is a scenically arranged choreography composed of objects, barrier posts and respective (gold and silver) chains, wall paintings and photographs. Through a precise spatial arrangement, all these become interconnected to one another to form an interlinked course.

Winkler has distributed large, trapeze-like sculptures across the exhibition space. These are self-enclosed, reduced objects that resemble pedestals, perhaps like those used at the circus. In order to comprehend each in its complexity, the observer must move completely around the entire sculpture. The entire external surface of the pedestal is composed of large-scale digital prints depicting more or less alienated photographs and color gradients. Sometimes, a narrative element lends itself to recognition; at other times, the surfaces of color appear abstract, sfumato, vanishing into one another. Traces of the production process visibly remain and spontaneous decisions have been incorporated. This is not about a perfect, absolutely finished body: for Andrea Winkler, sculpture emerges as a fragile act within the space’s context and in relation to all the other elements of an exhibition, transcending media genres and categorization in a peculiar way. In this manner she works strongly with elements, alienated and re-staged, whose origins are tied to a functional, colloquial theatricality and the culture of spectacle.

The barrier posts and their respective chains, with which Winkler has deepened the conceptual basis of her spatial collage, give structure to the exhibition space and work similar to the guidance posts often experienced in hotel lobbies, convention centers or airports. Utilizing simple chain elements from professional arts and craft supplies, the posts are either bound together or are left to lead nowhere, into the void of the white wall. At first glance seemingly haphazard, they tighten to form a temporary body of control, an optional delineation of the space concerned with the imaginary, with what could lie in front or behind. It is left for the one who steps through to decide whether he or she will follow the limits Winkler has set to the path or transgress the demarcations outlined by the artist. In this moment of expectation and wonder, the observer will also notice the abstract, sketch-like spray paint markings on the gallery walls. These operate similar to the guidance posts in the space. Their course consists of delicate remnants, marks, and lines that move through the entire installation. Here, the idea clearly references drawing, the basis for several works in the show, spreading out across the three-dimensional space.

An anchoring point for the tour through the gallery is the framed photograph Miniature Reproduction after Mike Kelly’s “Framed and Frame” (Miniature Reproduction ‘Chinatown Wishing Well,’ built by Mike Kelly after “Miniature Reproduction ‘Seven Star Cavern,’ built by Prof. H. K. Lu”) 1999. This photograph is based on a work by Mike Kelley, which itself is based on an actually existing wishing well site, a colossal Asian fountain built in Los Angeles by a certain Prof. H. K. Lu. Winkler’s “remake of a remake” allows one to recognize various other objects: everyday stuff such as paper cups, magazines stapled together, pistachio shells, plastic and cardboard, piled up and placed next to each other to form an altar of sorts. The photograph of an altar of “everyday things” references a theater stage, having the effect of an exhibition within the exhibition.

Andrea Winkler’s approach attracts through its simplicity and effortlessness, with which she places the most diverse formal and material elements into new connections and relationships. Through this she opens up a field of association, whose ephemerality allows moments of expectation, loss and desire to call forth.

Tags: Mike Kelley, Andrea Winkler