• APR 06 to APR 20
    Solo Exhibition
    Michael MÜLLER

    Category

    • Solo Exhibition
    • Contemporary

    Dates and Opening hours

    APR 06 to APR 20, 2013

    Tuesday to Saturday 12 to 6 p.m. and by appointment

    Vernissage: Opening Friday, 5 April and Tuesday, 9 April, 7-9 pm

    Event Location

    Galerie Thomas Schulte

    Berlin
    Germany

    Artists

    Information

    In six new works created especially for the exhibition Das Scheitern der Oberfläche, Michael Müller seeks out systematics and structures in the subject central to his work, language: he orders and at the same time allows these systematics and structures to fail by revealing the irregularities, contradictions, and fissures that are fundamentally inherent to every system.

    In the exhibition’s main work, Index der Willkür, unvollendet (Index of Arbitrariness, Incomplete), Müller attempts to organize the process of language development in the case of individuals who work with concepts of conveying content by way of text and language. 95 text panels are placed in chronological order along the walls in the main space of the gallery, and a portrait is placed on the opposite wall across from each. But as is always the case in Müller’s systematics, the regularity of the systematization is interrupted. Some of the portraits are abstract, while others are hidden behind tinted glass or are missing entirely. Each text panel, which features a source text by the individual portrayed, the name of the writing system, the initials of the individual and their date of birth, tells its own story of language development: for example, the story of James Dee, who developed a language to communicate with angels, or a poem by John Milton that was the first literary text to be translated into Braille.

    Index der Willkür, unvollendet is interrupted in three locations by large aluminum Dibond slabs, painted white, reminiscent of an oversized open book. On the flat surface, traces of pencil are clearly visible: their content, taken from journal-like notes made by the artist, remain illegible to thebeholder. As promised by the exhibition title, the surface fails as a foundation and in so doing rejects the beholder, as it were.

    Tile is an important medium for Müller: its resistant materiality as a painting surface rejects the artist in a general way and thus allows him to fail. Alongside the entrance area, is located the spatial installation XI. Gesang (At the Backside of a Gas Station in the Plain of Lethe), a room completely tiled in white industrial tiles, in which an emergency exit sign shows the ancient Greek word for "exit" while signaling in Morse code passages on the Visit to Hades from Homer’s Odyssey. The reference to the Odyssey as one of the most influential texts of Western culture makes a direct link to the artist’s search for ideal modes of expression and a way out of his very own past.

    For the four-part work Ghostwriter, the artist had by way of the Internet two differently priced—and thus qualitatively different—reviews of exhibitions written by providing the same twelve keywords to two different critics. The commissioned texts are accompanied by a handwritten copy made by the artist. The lines separating copy and original are consciously blurred and their significance reversed.

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