Wide Range. Cultural Focus. Editor Patrick Neithard
Jana Gunstheimer in the Römerapotheke Gallery, Zurich, until may 14th 2005
By Patrick Neithard
Since quite a while TV Shows like Big Brother recruit pseudo stars from a mass of anonymous and disoriented people. One individual only may escape anonymity and poverty in the end. As an alternative draft to this medialised social utopia, german artist Jana Gunstheimer creates mental spaces seemingly similar to those of a “consumer reality”. Within that topos, a fictional firm named Nova Porta operates in aiming at an “Overcoming of Risks”, in order to help transform the senselessness and aimlessness of the disoriented, using headlines such as “hierarchy and structure as a grip” in order to animate to partake.
Into this sphere, Gunstheimer places large scaled black and white paintings of masked humanoids, which we find represented also in a produced catalogue as “people without a calling”. Across the exhibit space, graphic lines connect these with other quotes by Nova Porta presented on museal shields. Another cycle of work with the german title “Stammsitz”, virtous photorealistic black and white aquarels this time, portray the spaces of the firm, which, in close proximity to its idol, the interior of the german firm Krupp, shows some cracks and damages, and yet glow with cleanliness, order and hierarchy. The few people appearing here and there seem rather random, if not misplaced, leaving one in question whether or not they may be squatting the abandoned family mansion of the industrial Krupp, “Villa Hügel” in Essen, Germany. The answer would be, no, as in fact the actual mansion is empty. Gunstheimer however suggests to reflect the use of this historic space. Contrary to “Big Brother” Nova Porta aims to ignite a discussion about conditions and history of mankind as seen here solely degraded to consumerists.
© original print version April 28th 2005, in: WoZ, die Wochenzeitung, Zurich Switzerland WoZ Tipp Gunstheimer 2MB
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