The works by Manfred Erjautz treat the experiences of the individual within such constantly interweaving and mutually irritating fields as inside and outside, private and public, and they undertake compensatory attempts to establish a positioning of the individual person in these fields and thereby resist a patent overtaxing.
In a continuation of earlier works, which indicated the possible emptiness of aesthetic codes with accumulatively used logos, Manfred Erjautz has developed his own logo for the exhibition at the Secession. A neon lamp in the shape of his initials ME hangs at the foot of a streetlight, which perforates the roof construction of the Secession. As a result of the paradoxical illumination situation, an allegorical WE appears on the floor as a faint shadow of the ME. The ego produces a community itself, which it immediately outshines. What dimension does the personality have in relation to the public, and how is the public constructed, if every discretion revolving around the person vanished? How can one position oneself and move in a world of illusory relationships and circumstances?
The intervention that Erjautz undertakes in the exhibition space is to be seen in the sense of these questions. Replacing the door in the back wall of the main room with a plate of glass opens up and expands the space. A marble snowman placed in the space outside is revealed to the gaze. The suggestion of nearness, the apparent possibility of entering the garden and the simultaneously unbridgeable distance that is created through this architectonic intervention find a counterpart in the outside sculpture Gefangen in der Gegenwart (Trapped in the Present).
The view that cuts through the main room is contrapuntally continued with large format photographs showing, among other things, window and door situations. In their sculptural, architectonic formation, they construct a complex spatiality, which dissolves the fixed viewpoint of the central perspective. The passages atmospherically flooded with light are the result of a long process of image development, in which Manfred Erjautz first notes his motifs in drawings before seeking a correspondence in reality and then capturing it photographically. Diffusely modulated and blurred, the pictures demonstrate the extent to which the world outside reflects one’s own imagination and can no longer be brought into focus by the knowing gaze from mental space.
Rebellion against an outside that cannot be grasped and rage expressed in violence as a reaction to the violated shelter zone of the private sphere are the theme of the slide series Gunshot. With no recognizable adversary, the artists shoots wildly in his studio with a gun made of Lego, until he finally sinks to the floor, hit by return fire from an unidentifiable source. Although no counterpart can be unmasked, the result is exhaustion, an effort drained of power, the bullet lodged in nothingness.