Michael Beutler, Installation View
Michael Beutler, Installation View


Michael Beutler's expansive sculptures are usually created directly on site in relation to the given architectonic arrangements. In an experimental process that concentrates more on the logical sequence of mutually conditional decisions than on preconceived planning, Beutler develops structures and forms from conventional building materials - such as wood, plaster or glass - that question standardization. His methods range from do-it-yourself strategies, the compilation of (playful) rules for action, to the fabrication of machines that contribute to deformations. His work recurrently centers around an interest in conceptualizing the properties of various fabrication processes and material structures so that a content-based understanding of the materials and interventions takes precedence over a material-functional understanding.


Michael Beutler, Installation View
Michael Beutler, Installation View


In his project for the Secession, Michael Beutler starts from the placement of the Grafisches Kabinett within the Secession and the characteristics of this space. The elements that are central to this are the way to the Grafisches Kabinett - the narrow stairs leading up to it - and its architectonic format: an almost square, very low room with an elongated, narrow window that has no thematic correspondence.
Michael Beutler relates these observations in combination with the otherwise very delicate and transparent ceiling construction of the Secession to the tradition of the glass pavilion in the second half of the 19th century, which was intended to create transparent interior landscapes on the one hand, but also standardized exhibition architectures on the other.


Michael Beutler, Installation View
Michael Beutler, Installation View


Michael Beutler's interest is concentrated primarily on one of the high points of this kind of construction: the Kibble Palace (Crystal Palace) in the Botanical Garden in Glasgow. It was constructed in 1872 by the engineer and architect John Kibble, and Michael Beutler visited it several times during his stay in Glasgow. The Kibble Palace has not only gone down in history as a masterpiece of glass and iron construction, but also still stands for a radicalization of standardization in industrial building production today.


Michael Beutler, Installation View
Michael Beutler, Installation View


"At once ... the status of bourgeoisie forces of productivity is demonstrated as a whole: the domination of nature and appropriation through the application of industrial procedures based on the methods of natural science."


Michael Beutler, Installation View
Michael Beutler, Installation View


These considerations were among the impulses that led Michael Beutler to explore the methods of glass construction, resulting in the decision to make a glass, dome-shaped structure on site in the Grafisches Kabinett. As in earlier works, the experimental construction process follows his interest in questioning processes of standardization, e.g. in glass and glass house production, as well as integrating new forms and methodological coincidences. Consequently, a pleasure in ornamentation is always also present in the sculptural spatial intervention at the same time.


Michael Beutler, Installation View
Michael Beutler, Installation View


The glass sculpture is conceived as a work that encompasses the space, so that visitors are not confronted with a model-like perspective, but rather find themselves part of the spatial arrangement. The experience of different ways of building recalls historical attempts of alternative and utopian architecture and thus of forms of living, which the details turn into thematic components.


Michael Beutler, Installation View
Michael Beutler, Installation View


In recent years, Michael Beutler's works have been included in, among others, the exhibition New Heimat at the Kunstverein Frankfurt, where he built a "zig-zag bridge" made of European standardized pallets. It was modeled on Chinese bridges between the mainland and temple islands, which were supposed to prevent evil spirits from entering the sacred places. In September this year, he developed a project for the offspace kjubh in Cologne in collaboration with Henning Bohl. Under the title "Florenz", he deconstructed a conventional party tent by "bending" the four round, metal side poles into an ornamental surface, so that the statics of the tent changed, leading to further interventions, all the way to cutting the roof into a plane like a canopy of leaves.


Michael Beutler, Installation View
Michael Beutler, Installation View


PUBLICATION

MICHAEL BEUTLER

24 pages, 3 b/w photos, 3 colored illustrations
authors: Matthias Herrmann, Gregory Williams, Stefanie Kleefeld
Secession 2002

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available in the shop



MICHAEL BEUTLER, born 1976 in Oldenburg, lives and works in Frankfurt. 1997 - 2002 Städelschule, Frankfurt am Main; 2000 - 2001 Glasgow School of Art (Masters of Fine Arts Department)
Exhibitions (Selection): 2002 Terrassen, with Henning Bohl, Kjubh Kunstverein, Cologne; Origami rückwärts, Technoplus, Paris; easy-heavy, Luftraum, Frankfurt/M; Fluten, Hinterconti, Hamburg; Michael Pfrommer / Mandla Reuter, Lothringerstraße 13/Laden, Munich; 2001 dontmiss, Frankfurt/M; Sour Cherry Soup (Meggyleves), Mafuji Gallery, London; Interim, Mackintosh Gallery, Glasgow School of Art; Ausstellung Wohnung Draschan/Wolff mit Lise Harlev, Vienna; Trash Art Festival, Gazi, Athen; Museumsshop, Stellwerk, Kassel; Vasistas, Technische Universität, Istanbul; New Heimat, Frankfurter Kunstverein, Frankfurt/M; 2000 Und was machen wir heute, Steinweghalle, Oldenburg; ISBN 3-9805670-3-6, Hanauer Landstraße 133, Frankfurt/M; Membersshow, Transmission Gallery, Glasgow


Michael Beutler, Installation View
Michael Beutler, Installation View


All Photos: Matthias Herrmann



SUE WILLIAMS   KOO JEONG-A
EXHIBITION PROGRAM 2002


 
For further information and photographic material please contact:
 
Katharina Schniebs
Secession, Association of Visual Artists Vienna Secession
Friedrichstraße 12, 1010 Vienna
Tel: +43-1-5875307-21, Fax: +43-1-5875307-34
presse@secession.at