June 6 – August 1, 2004
Art Sonje Center
Rehberger, a former student of Martin Kippenberger, has taken part in a number of important shows around the world since the early 1990s and is surely one of the major figures of the new generation artists. Rehberger’s works have expanded from sculptures and video installations to the designs for underwear and jewelry, and the production of hand-crafted furniture and automobiles, even to the creation of a garden. The artist has indeed constantly been broadening his field of experimentation which keeps centering around the questions of perception, knowledge, the process of translation, the possibilities of varying views and perspectives, and the relationship between an object’s functional character and the value that is added to it. Rehberger’s artistic undertaking proposes, on a fundamental level, to pay greater attention to the environment we live in.
The exhibition is designed to present both Rehberger’s well known works based on the concept of “light” and new productions specially conceived for Art Sonje Center. The new piece, <Some Sized Parents to a Semi Defined O-Space>, presented on the 2nd floor of Art Sonje Center, follows his notable style, which is to devise a protocol of interior system and design for a specific space. In this exhibition, Tobias Rehbeger proposes an ideal model for an office, which could be a management office of artists’ residency program and workshop, or a research lab where educational programs are designed for museums or other institutions, or even a publishing house that is committed to the artists’ book. Sharing Art Sonje Center with the vision of such space, Rehberger has supplied an appropriate design of interior and furniture that will help the function of such office.
The <Videobibliothek>(Video Libraries), another new production, most recalls the artist’s earlier work in the use of colors and futuristic design which was typical in the 1970s. As the title suggests, the piece takes the forms of a film archive, that is, a collection of film excerpts. The excerpts are diverse in their origin, but bound in the same thematic category of “loss’. Playing on TV monitor concealed inside each cabinet, however, the movies are inaccessible. Audiences are drawn to glimmering light and murmuring sound sneaking out from the edges of the doors, only to find it impossible to signify exact meaning of the information.
The <7 ends of the world>, which was on view at the Venice Biennale, 2003, creates a spectacle of 222 glass lamps hanging from the entire ceiling of the exhibition hall on 3rd floor. This piece was realized through a collaboration with Murano glass artisans of Venice. The glass lamps are of seven groups of color which denote respectively the seven places of the world, Rehberger himself claimed to pronounce as the best places he wishes to be on the last day of this planet. Observed closely, the lighting of each color group is subtly being controlled by the internet that records and responds to the sunlight of the seven places.
The <Communication Terror>, similar to <Videobibliothek>, is a work that also seeks to provoke new ways of perceiving by masking images. Though a movie, Castaway in this, is being projected from three projectors behind a screen wall, the projections are cast on mirror which reflects the projection away from the screen. Resultingly the audience thinks that the screen wall prevents one from really seeing the images. The installation, thus, situates the audience on a borderline between the visible and invisible, thereby, to perceive both at the same time. Tobias Rehberger summons through his art our perceptive potential and capacity to transform reality.
Rehberger believes that the reception/perception of a work of art is always a compromise between the artist, who offers something to see, and the audience, who see what they want to see: “I don’t think I can control the way they see the works. Everyone constructs their work of art for themselves. The audience is not important for me but for themselves.”