Jocelyn Wolff

Hans Schabus

L'autre chien

28 May - 23 Jul 2016

Exhibition view
L'autre chien
28 May – 23 July 2016

Dear Jocelyn,

Yesterday I checked your website to see if there were any images of Christoph Weber’s exhibition. There were and I got a better idea of your newly renovated and expanded space and saw Christoph’s works. Congratulations on both, the space and the show.

Then I also found the press release which is basically a letter that you wrote to somebody explaining Christoph’s works on the day of their arrival in the gallery

I liked that and thought that I should try and write a letter to you too. Just to talk about some things along the works of LE AUTRE CHIEN. Yes, this will be the title.

I want to connect three things that happened at the end of last year or the beginning of this year respectively and that are slowly coming together.

1. Last autumn I was working with different toy-figures, all of them named Hans. One small porcelaine figure – a dwarf with a hammer and a piece of wood in his hands – accidentally fell from a high above structure onto the stairs and burst into dozens of pieces. I picked them up to keep them because I somehow felt attracted to the broken up parts of the dwarf carpenter. One fragment had only half of the face left, another one the right hand, or a shoe, or some other unrecognizable parts. The shattered pieces changed the perception of the scale, of the actual room, my body and the relation to these little bits and pieces ...

2. In early January I had to undergo surgery on my left knee. Consequently I had to use crutches for a while, a strange feeling. The extensions of the arms somehow turn into feet. I went to see some exhibitions and these crutches – leaning against a wall or kept in a corner – turned out to be structures that interconnected with space and works, like energetic sensors, recalling an absent body. A crutch is a crutch, a body is a body and a space is a space. But maybe a space is a crutch is a body. After I was done using the crutches I brought them to a foundry to have them cast in brass, aluminum and bronze. Body, mind and soul?

3. Around that time the Secession mailed the free availability of four vitrines to their members. They had been originally designed in the 1990ies to hold studies for the Beethovenfries by Gustav Klimt. I was fast and therefore lucky. Right now, in my studio, I have three of these vitrines one on top of each other, sitting on four turtles that are known, originally, to support two very big bowls in front of the Secession’s main entrance. The absence of the drawings inside the vitrines are visible, the colour of the wood has faded around them. The labels of «The Hostile Powers», the main theme of the Beethofenfries, are still in place. But the drawings are gone. «The Suffering of Weak Humanity», «The Yearning for Happiness» and «The Kiss for the Whole World» – all gone.

In the last weeks it has become clearer to me that these three materials – the broken porcelain figure, the crutches and the vitrines with the turtles – are somehow connected and calling for each other. These materials are now working on their relationship. I am inbetween, still trying to bring other materials into this circle. falling off. falling off. still trying.

I have also been thinking about including the doormat that I had used at my second studio. It had been shaped specifically for the entrance in about 1997 and moved also into the current studio were it was used untill I named it «Währingerstrasse» and send it to you with the doorkey about a year ago.

All of this might shrink or grow in the next couple of weeks, let’s see.
And I need colors, colors...

Best, Hans

Tags: Gustav Klimt, Hans Schabus, Christoph Weber