303 Gallery presents our fifth one-person exhibition of work by Hans-Peter Feldmann. The show will feature “Shadowplay,” most recently shown in “Fare Mundi,” the Central International Exhibition at the 2009 Venice Biennale.
Hans Peter Feldmann’s use of found objects often verges on the absurd, and “Shadowplay” utilizes this approach toward an uncannily romantic end. The piece is comprised of small figurines and household objects placed on slowly revolving platforms. Illuminated via crude self-made spotlights, their shadows cyclically carousel across the wall. Figures weave in and out of focus, morphing into one another in perpetually shifting combinations. Feldmann’s endless fascination with finding euphoria in the mundane here manifests itself in a riff on shadow puppetry and cinema, as familiar objects become fantastic via a simple shining spot of light. As the turntables spin the objects around at varying speeds, disparate composites ebb in and out of each other. Slowly introducing themselves, crossing paths, then melting away, these ephemeral meetings seem to imply that every new relationship, no matter how entrancing, is doomed to fade into obscurity with everything else.
“Bookshelves” is a 5-panel, life-size photograph of Feldmann’s own bookshelves at his home in Düsseldorf. As an artist renowned for using found and discarded objects of others, “Bookshelves” is a rare look at the personal world of a voyeur through the looking glass. The dialectical tension between the banality of the shelf itself and its physical size becomes paramount, as there is a counterintuitive ruse in showing an everyday object shown at a grandiose scale. This idea, however, is unexpectedly met with the fact that the everyday object exists in actuality at the same size. Feldmann mocks photography’s promise of a replica of reality, as the obvious impossibility of browsing a fake library (even at life size) becomes an endearingly cruel gag.
Hans Peter Feldmann (b. 1941) lives and works in Düsseldorf. He showed “Shadowplay” in “Fare Mundi” (curated by Daniel Birnbaum) at this year’s Venice Biennale, and will also show two works in the Istanbul Biennale. Recent solo exhibitions include “Art Exhibition” at the Sprengel Museum in Hanover (travelling to Arnolfini, Bristol and Landesgalerie, Linz) and the Contemporary Art Gallery in Vancouver. He currently has works included in “In the Making” at the Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin; and “For the blind man in the dark room looking for the cat that isn’t there” at the Contemporary Art Museum, St. Louis. In 2002-2003, a comprehensive solo exhibition of Feldmann’s work traveled from the the Fundacio Antoni Tapies in Barcelona to the Fotomuseum Winterthur in Germany, the Centre National de la Photographie, Paris, and the Museum Ludwig, Cologne. “Buch 9,” an artist book in conjunction with the show “Art Exhibition,” was published in 2007