Eröffnung: Do 05. Juli 2018, 19:00 Uhr
Opening: Thurs July 05 2018, 7:00 pm
With Grass Glue the Kunstverein Nürnberg – Albrecht Dürer Gesellschaft presents the first institutional solo exhibition of Swiss artist Urban Zellweger. The title of the show refers to a special glue that is used in model making. In his game boards, Zellweger binds the material image to the expanding space.
Urban Zellweger’s work deals with the transitions of figurative and abstract elements. Bodies and figures combine, merge into each other, get painted over, and dissolve against a background. The spatialized game suggests a reality in which haptic and physical phenomena intertwine with those of a virtual world.
Out of this World (2018) features an alien—an otherworldly being—skiing on a glacier. The figure of the alien attained greater notoriety in 1990s pop culture partially as the result of the iconization of its face as a trademark. In the mean time it has become a part of the visual extension of language as an emoji. Various application icons and logos are also frozen in the vaulting ice over which the runner glides.
These other icons and logos include the “A” in Acrobat Readers stylized mobius strip, the VLC-Player (Video Lan Client) orange traffic cone, the iTunes circled note, and the smiling MacOS finder face. They represent software, virtual spaces, and navigation tools that branch out into different implications surrounding physical media. For example, the original design of the iTunes logo as a note and a CD has gradually been replaced as the result of the CD having been rendered obsolete by the cloud. The PDF format, however, mediates the indexical function of human, hand, pen and paper in that it carries the expectation of expression (print) and re-reading (scan) as a virtual interface between digital and analogue presence.
In the painting, the figure of the meandering, extra-terrestrial embodiment shows itself to be alien even to itself, while the (apparent) shapelessness of the glacial landscape is still transforming underneath it. The snow that the figure leaves behind in navigating the landscape eventually generates new mountains.
The board games in Grass Glue are visual representations of standard, cognitive structures. On the one hand they refer to complexes of game participation, settling in, and subjectivation within internal conditions. On the other hand, they allude to a painterly tradition and the history of modernity—as well as it’s potential outcome—in that they create a double presence as illustrated and art historical references to the ready-made through the translations that they perform. As a material, the grass glue illustrates non-pictorial aspects by making a material opening possible.
In Urban Zellweger’s landscapes, nature appears like on a desktop. The development of the visual interface of operating systems like Windows and Mac depict nature as a genuinely human-spatial system of references. Urban Zellweger’s work explores the visual relationship of points of densification within these systems. Landscapes and glaciers simultaneously become the temporal background and simultaneous site where consolidation and movement, form and formlessness manifest.
Wed July 11, 6 pm
Wed July 18, 7 pm
Artist talk with Ariane Müller
Sun July 29, 3 pm