MUNICH.- Haus der Kunst
announced that the 2013 and second yearly commissioned artwork in the DER ÖFFENTLICHKEIT - VON DEN FREUNDEN HAUS DER KUNST series, established in 2012, has been awarded to the Berlin-based artist Manfred Pernice.
DER ÖFFENTLICHKEIT - VON DEN FREUNDEN HAUS DER KUNST is a multiyear project that was developed especially for the museum's Middle Hall and is generously supported by the Gesellschaft der Freunde Haus der Kunst. With this project, Haus der Kunst and the Gesellschaft der Freunde demonstrate their commitment to supporting the creation of new works of contemporary art, where the Haus is the focus of discussion.
"It is a project with which we draw attention to the field of tension in which Haus der Kunst finds itself, with art and artists, with politics, society, and history. With our commitment to contemporary art in this particular room, we subject the Middle Hall to a reinterpretation as an open and public space, as a place of congregation and lingering, of fantasy and imagination", explained Okwui Enwezor, Haus der Kunst director.
DER ÖFFENTLICHKEIT - VON DEN FREUNDEN HAUS DER KUNST addresses a generation of artists who have developed a clear and challenging line of artistic inquiry and is grounded in the idea of the central role art and artists play in global debates. With this view, Haus der Kunst wishes to acknowledge international artists who, over the course of their careers, exemplify and have demonstrated models of artistic excellence, conceptual rigor, experimental spirit, and whose ideas have had enduring impact in the field of contemporary art and its discourses.
The commissioned artists are free in their proposals, whereby the open character of the Middle Hall and the permeability of the space are to be maintained. While last year's commission by Korean artist Haegue Yang mirrored the nature of the architecture with the permeability of blinds, Manfred Pernice has proposed an accessible bridge structure. This bridge extends from the museum's bookshop in the west to the entrance to the exhibition rooms in the east wing. In addition to a path that visitors can walk along on ground level, Pernice has also created an additional walkway situated on a six-meter-high platform.
At ground level and in the center of the room, Pernice has placed his architectural sculpture, "Tutti", from the year 2010. The work is an open, circular wooden space divided into four segments, each of which is furnished differently. Located in the center of the space is a spiral staircase, which leads up to the bridge. The installation of the individual sections is not carried out exclusively according to Pernice's stipulations. The intention, rather, is to display the works of other artists and to host various interventions over the long exhibition period.
Pernice's installation navigates in the ambiguous zone between stability and instability. In his installation, Pernice uses cardboard, tiles, concrete, and other materials, often combining these with collages, drawings, photographs and pieces from earlier works. These materials usually have been used previously, so that each element has an individual story. Using plywood and similar materials, Pernice creates - in his own words -'entities' (Gebilde). Their different dimensions, which recall architectural and furniture-like structures - do not serve concrete or practical functions. The artist arranges his constructed forms, which are reminiscent of barrels, containers and platforms, in new interrelated and complex constellations in the exhibition space. In this way, new relationships between the objects and various connections are established. The inter-related photographs, drawings, found images and texts formulate subordinate narratives with references to real events, thus lending the objects the significance of a historical figure, for instance. In this sense, Pernice's entities investigate the nature of both individual and collective memory.
The bridge allows visitors to view the Middle Hall from a bird's eye view. Yet, the gaze that Manfred Pernice casts on the Middle Hall with "Tutti IV" has an ironic overtone, both with regard to the space's original and present function. Pernice fundamentally questions if spatial concepts can permanently endure, not lease his own.
Manfred Pernice, born in Hildesheim in 1963, studied graphic arts and painting at the Hochschule für Bildende Künste Braunschweig and at the Hochschule der Künste Berlin. Since the 1990s, he has created a remarkably casual oeuvre that navigates between sculpture and architecture. His exhibition biography includes renowned institutions such as MoCA, Los Angeles (2001), Museum Ludwig, Köln (2007), Hayward Gallery, London (2010), the Lyon Biennale (1997), Manifesta (2000), documenta 11 (2002), and Utopia Station at the Venice Biennale in 2003, which was exhibited in Haus der Kunst in 2004/05.