Haus Mödrath - Räume für Kunst, Germany


APRIL 23, 2017 - NOVEMBER 15, 2018



The house itself it at the focal point: civilization and domesticated nature. A transformation on numerous levels, from society to the individual, from the inhabitant to the artifact, from animalism to altruism, from artistic strategy to epiphany. Spiritual, indeed even spiritistic references to nature are already drawn outside the house between Ajay Kurian’s pavilion with God‘s Wisdom in the state bed, Thomas Zipp’s evolution central in the tent and Kai Althoff’s luminous angel sculpture in one of the main house’s windows.


Inside, the visitor enters into civilization with furniture and video installations that ambiguously connect quaintness with the unfathomable. This is already the case in the entrance, where Andreas Slominski invites Hellerau furniture with the charm of the 1950s to an unconventional duet. While Ed Atkins introduces his Hisser as a double digital avatar to our world per video and Katja Novitskova anthropomorphizes the animal kingdom, Neïl Beloufa solely presents people in the former swimming pool audiomorphically as commentators in a glistening architectural setting that is virtually animated by moving automobiles. The visitor reaches the basement from here by way of Davide Stucchi’s ‘décoration noir’ to James Richard’s Radio at Night with nightmarish sequences of endangered nature and societal dysfunctionality. A suffering ‘animality’ (Mary Audrey-Ramirez) accompanies the spiral staircase up to the first floor. In an act of individuation, the social network below is transformed on the manor house’s former piano nobile into artist spaces conceived as homages to their authors. Paintings and sculptures by Eric Bainbridge, André Butzer, Günther Förg, Georg Herold and Franz West are apparently—in the literal sense as well—celebrating the swan song of the white cube while Björn Braun and Stefano Cagol have already said goodbye to it. In the so-called jetty above, the villa’s subsequently added low hipped roof, this artistic world starts unraveling. The exhibited works come close to deceptive hallucinations. Reality is interspersed with dark fairy tales and disturbing myths (Michaela Eichwald, Ali Altin, Jochen Lempert) or steer an opposite course full of phantasms (Dirk Bell, Michael E. Smith, Kris Lemsalu). Outsiders open archaic windows with dark energy (Adolf Beutler, Giorgio Dorigo). But things brighten up on top. The twofold structure of reason and paranoia appears under the daylight of the transom window. In an early video, Alicja Kwade not only switches on the lamps of her apartment but also awakens them to life. It is the introit to Eva Kot‘átkovás enormous ‘cage’ in which furniture and devices await roaming children in order to coerce them into their mechanical structure; an uncanny encounter of drip art, reason and delusion.


“Lodgers” is not a group show but a process: the inspection of a house. Instead of rooms with furnishings, we are confronted with works and objects of art that present details from the present day art scene in a different light.

April 23, 2018
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