Meyer Riegger

Daniel Roth

21 Sep - 02 Nov 2013

© Daniel Roth
Kartograph und Gelände
Installation view Meyer Riegger Berlin, 2013
Cartographer and Terrain
21 September - 2 November 2013

Meyer Riegger is pleased to present "Cartographer and Terrain", the fifth solo exhibition of Daniel Roth at the gallery. The exhibition is divided into six chapters, which describe the transitions(1) of a possible landscape inside of the Berlin gallery space as narrative embeddings(2) and marking points. Thus the viewer becomes a traveller through Daniel Roths narration, taking the self-visualised route through imaginary spaces, objects and conditions(3) while reading. The scenes which Roth designates with his associative cartography link both notions of mainland places, as well as – viewed as a transition(4) and a transit – places in island chains, which describe a gradually fragmenting landscape. The artist juxtaposes his objects and drawings, his collages, photographs and films with found images as well as with (natural) materials, which he subjects to a conceptual transformation, but always integrates as a possible(5) reference to that which lies beyond the narrative realm. His narratives recurrently comprise imaginary places, which emanate from the real as a point of reference, but only receive their form through their lack(6) of direct accessibility.

1 Transition generally appears as a metaphor in Roths exhibition, but the first two chapters in particular are intertwined as a correlating transition. Apart from the metamorphosis of different entities, which transform into landscapes, it is above all a reference to the old cinema in Schramberg, which Roth links to the chasm Gouffre de Padirac, a cave in France with a circular opening. The embedding of an only contingently accessible space, or the idea of an invisible cavity thereby becomes an allegory in Daniel Roths installation: The pipe branching out from the tank, as well as the tank itself, appear as an equivalent to Gouffre, a fictional shift. By setting down the bag, which is beside the frame, in ones mind the hole opens up into the darkness of the hollow body.

2 The concept of embedding derives from the idea of the "valley town beneath concrete" – filling the town of Schramberg in the Black Forest (with five confluent valleys) with concrete. Daniel Roth realised an installation on this topic in Meyer Rieggers Karlsruhe space in 1998. The only way to access the city, sealed off below concrete, is through the rear wall of a wardrobe. The idea of this valley town serves as a matrix for all of the stories which Roth conceives with regard to the embedding of space.

3 In the third chapter of the exhibition, the transition of conditions becomes the theme of the story. It traces the concept of dying animals with bodies that transform to islands. Here Roth placed a fur object onto a metal structure, its amorphous form neither specifies a creature, nor a place. With its presence in the room, it sketches an insular condition, which Daniel Roth takes up similarly in a collage.

4 The transition, here allegorically from the mainland to the islands, is described in this thematic passage by an architectural object, developed from a landscape of ash. The segmentation of a whole into parts, and also the formation of the specific through the accumulation of individual pieces is manifested here by a figurative doubling. A brick wall is surrounded by a pool of ash, this is the architecture which rises from the ash island.

5 The realm of the potential is a recurring theme in Daniel Roths work, and so particularly in his installation of blind cubes. It designates a possible purpose for the architectural object built on ash. Three cubes without eyes are located on a black plinth, which could be thrown into the depths of a plaster basket standing on it. They address the idea of a game, an experiment to which there can be no answer. The outcome remains unknown.

6 Daniel Roth refrains from documentation, his language is based on enlisting excerpts, attributes, or also abstracted basic shapes. This is illustrated similarly in his photographs, which he presents here as a slide projection. Surfaces become visible: an overgrown Opel Manta in the forest, yellow sulphur marks on rocks, glacial structures. These pictures function as a language, whose alphabet is a code of sediments. Conjunctions of individual fictions, which fill out the gaps of our imagination.

Text: Christina Irrgang

Tags: Daniel Roth