Anna K.E. and Florian Meisenberg: Electric Forest (Bowery)
On view until July 31, 2020.
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While driving at night down the long, unbroken roads of West Texas, flickers of eerie, amber light punctuate the darkness. A congregation of hares stand sentinel at the edges of the dusty road, their glassy eyes reflecting headlights like so many illuminated screens. At other times, they are transformed. Eyes no longer effulgent. Once-lithe bodies reduced to flattened panes by contact with a passing car.
Arranged here as a living, multi-dimensional tableau, the shapeshifting hares have joined an arsenal of iterated shapes and characters. They conjure a series of ideas and images in flux, hovering between lens and light, watcher and watched, in which information proliferates endlessly without seeking finality or resolution.
In order to exist simultaneously in these parallel states, the hares have been treated in a variety of ways. Revivified, transposed onto animated fans affixed at either end of large aluminum tubes. Simulated, to trace their arc from watchful creatures into slack, formless puddles. Finally, in their flattened form, materially rendered in the form of layered Computerized Numerical Control (CNC) carved Baltic birch. Their continual, oscillating presence forms a life cycle outside the bounds of natural selection, by which death is not the end of action but a portal into a new, abstracted geometry.
Merging the linear construct of road and roadside with the ordered variation of Judd’s cubic sculptures, the artists have built a simulated version of the Texan road as it unfurled before them, bordered by mathematically accurate iterations of every single cube in Judd’s famed series. The monochromatic simulation, entitled https://www.100untitledworksinmillaluminum.org/, makes continuous, steady progress through a pitch-black landscape, accompanied occasionally by bursts of sound as the ‘driver’ encounters a series of future-themed podcasts, broadcast from particular points along the road. Through a hole in the projection, a single crumpled beer can, almost fully cleansed of identifying marks by the elements, infinitely reflects in the mirrored box that encloses it.
Elsewhere, a slanted wooden trapdoor featuring the collapsed hare in CNC-carved form, opens to reveal footage filmed after the completion of 2017’s Late Checkout, echoing the empty feedback loop of compulsive technological connection. The camera’s gaze flits between the artists as they idly consume one another, building up a gradual, dual self-portrait that moves continuously without ever arriving. Also present is Countdown Belladonna (2016), for which the artists projected a barrage of video material directly onto their own retinas, creating yet another feedback loop that marries mind, body and screen in an endless, boundless chain.
In this flattened landscape, everything is mutable. Multiple iterations of every image and idea burgeon like seeds scattered on the wind. Finally, it is only via the act of being seen–whether happened upon whilst driving or peeked at through a chink in a temporary screen–that this potentiality becomes concretized, so that though these manifold portals and doorways, we come to a gradual understanding of the transformative potency of vision upon reality.
–Text by Claudia Paterson
Anna K.E. and Florian Meisenberg’s selected collaborative solo shows include: Simone Subal Gallery, New York (2020); Kunstpalais Erlangen, curated by Milena Mercer, (Cat.), Erlangen (2019); WNTRP, Berlin (2017); Salon Kennedy, Frankfurt (2016); Signal, Brooklyn (2016); Art Basel Miami Beach with Simone Subal Gallery, Miami (2016); LISTE 20, with Simone Subal Gallery, Basel (2015); EY artforum, Düsseldorf (2008); Schaufenster des Kunstvereins für die Rheinlande und Westphalen, Düsseldorf (2007). Select group exhibitions include: Signal, Brooklyn (2016); Galerie Hasen at MMOGG Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf (2007); Villa De Bank, Enschede, Netherlands (2006).
Anna K.E. was born in 1986 in Tbilisi, Georgia. Selected solo shows include: REARMIRRORVIEW, Simulation is Simulation, is Simulation, is Simulation…, curated by Margot Norton, Georgian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale (2019); Queens Museum, New York, USA (2017-2018); Simone Subal Gallery, New York, USA (2018, 2015, 2013); Primary, Nottingham, UK (2017); Sommer Gallery, Tel Aviv (2016); Galerie Barbara Thumm, Berlin, Germany (2015, 2013); Mannheimer Kunstverein, Mannheim, Germany (2012); Kunstverein Leverkusen, Germany (2011). Selected group shows: Zentrum für Kunst und Medien, Karlsruhe, Germany (2017); G2 Kunsthalle, Leipzig, Germany (2016); The Kitchen, New York, NY (2015); Museum of Contemporary Art, Santa Barbara, CA (2015); Kunstverein Wiesen e.V. Wiesen, Germany (2015); Kunst Raum Riehen, Switzerland (2015); KAI10, Quadriennale Düsseldorf, Germany (2014); Petach Tikva Museum of Art, Israel (2014); The Renaissance Society, Chicago (2014); The III Moscow International Biennale for Young Art, Moscow, Russia (2012); Kunsthalle Recklinghausen, Germany (2011); Museum K21, Düsseldorf (2010); Young Biennale Köln 2010, Cologne (2010).
Florian Meisenberg was born in 1980 in Berlin, Germany. Selected solo shows: Kunstparterre, Munich (2020); Zabludowicz Collection, London 2019); Simone Subal Gallery, New York (2013, 2015, 2018); Avlskarl Projects, Copenhagen, Denmark (2017, 2020); Kölnischer Kunstverein, Cologne, Germany (2014); Kasseler Kunstverein, Kassel, Germany (2014); Kunst aus NRW / Förderpreis für Bildende Kunst, Ehemalige Reichsabtei, Aachen, Germany (2012); Wentrup Gallery, Berlin, Germany (2012, 2014, 2016, 2017); Kate McGarry, London, UK (2011, 2013, 2020); Wilhelm-Hack-Museum, Ludwigshafen, Germany (2011); Ludwig Forum für Internationale Kunst, Aachen, Germany (2009). Recent selected group exhibitions: Museum der Bildenden Kuenste Leipzig, Germany (Cat.) 2019; Kunstsammlung Chemnitz, Chemnitz (2019); Museum Wiesbaden, Germany (2019); neue Gesellschaft für Bildende Kunst, Berlin, Germany (2018); Zeppelin Museum, Friedrichshafen, Germany (2017); Broehan Museum, Berlin, Germany (2017); Broehan Museum, Berlin, Germany (2017); Kiasma Finnish National Gallery, Helsinki, Finland (2017); ICA, Philadelphia (Cat.) (2017); Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt, Germany (Cat.) (2016); Kunsthalle Recklinghausen, Recklinghausen, Germany (Cat.) (2016); Bundeskunsthalle Bonn, Bonn, Germany (2015); Kunstpalais Erlangen, Erlangen, Germany (2015); Goethe Institute, Hong Kong (2015); Ausstellung in der Sammlung Kunst aus NRW in der ehemaligen Reichsabtei Aachen-Kornelimünster, Aachen, Germany (2014); Museum Kunsten, Aalborg, Denmark (2014); Queens Museum of Art, New York, USA (2014).