Friday, October 1, 2010

Pawel Althamer Jacek Taszakowski mezalia at NEUGERIEMSCHNEIDERBERLIN by craniv boyd

Pawel Althamer Jacek Taszakowski mezalia at NEUGERIEMSCHNEIDERBERLIN


Refreshment sometimes comes in the form of seeing the unexpected in an art gallery. Diarahmas for an animated film objects that had their former life as a film prop or set. That but not only that is what Pawel Althamer offers in his recent exhibition titled mezalia at Neugeriemscheider Berlin.


Walking into the space one observes three large fragments of an alternate reality on stilts. One is part of a semi urban landscape with a bridge and two cartoon like youths with heads too big for their bodies playing at the side of a lake. Across from them stares a figure of an adult man from inside an apartment room, is he yearning for days gone by from his empty room with the detritus of the artists life, past exhibition catalogues on the floor, half eaten freedom fries on the table next to a broken mobile telephone. Newspaper obituaries scattered on the floor.


Which brings us back to the third fragmentary object a model of a modernist Warsaw apartment complex Ala Keizlawski´s classic film for polish television the Decalouge.


Together these fragments work like a series of  "cuts", Establishing view of the apartment house from a distance cut to medium shot of the artist looking despondently from his apartment window flashback to an idyllic moment in the artist´s past, a time when things were simpler, playing with a friend on the banks of a lake. That is one of many possible readings of Pawel Althamer´s installation.


The character of the miniature models of lakeside, room, and high-rise dwelling is friendly innocent and childlike in nature, it is the character present in many films made for children.  


One appreciates the attention to detail in the meticulously crafted miniature replicas of the artists catalogues on the floor of the miniature artist apartment. Those same catalogues appear on a shelf near the front office. Looking there one can appreciate the diversity of Mr. Althamers work, a series of educative collaborations with children were the subject of a one person exhibition at the Fridericianum in Kassel, another small book documents another project that was a collaboration with three African men who had become longtime residents of Poland. It brings awareness to the cultural and discriminatory issues these men face living in Poland. Seeing these one gets a sense that Pawel Althamer is an artist that gives back, to the community and to younger generations, an artist that goes further. by craniv boyd ©    

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