NEW YORK, NY.- Galerie Perrotin
, New York presents Die Geschichte läuft über uns, the first exhibition by Gregor Hildebrandt at the gallery.
The Berlin-based artist Gregor Hildebrandt makes installations, sculptures, and works on canvas. His materials are, amongst other things, record carriers for sound and film, such as cassette tapes, videotapes, and vinyl records. His formal vocabulary is grounded in minimalism, but his works are charged with numerous associations. Even though there is no sound in his exhibitions, Gregor Hildebrandts installations, objects, and pictures exude an intensity that goes beyond their mere physical components. They are stores of pop-cultural memories that contribute to identity formation.
The unreeled tapes reveal an unexpected sensual quality. The brown or gray coating becomes a form of painting. The artist even uses the small rectangular pieces of felt over which the cassette tapes run. He explores the materials in all sorts of ways and thus reaches new forms that follow their own laws.
For example, vinyl records shaped into bowls are stacked and become sculptures. The videotapes put together to form a large floor-to-ceiling wall hanging are indirectly also a projection screen: every tape bears a recording of Wim Wenders great 1987 Berlin film Der Himmel über Berlin [Wings of Desire]. The story of an angel who wants to participate in earthly life is set in city that was still divided at the time. It articulated eternal themes like immortality, sadness, yearning, and transience into a contemporary visual language that to this day remains characteristic for Berlin. Embedded in this simultaneously delicate and monumental curtain is a series of four paintings that share the same origin: the negative form, from which the other three pictures are taken in a rip-off process, on the wall opposite the entrance, consists of cassette tapes with a recording of a song by the Berlin industrial band Einstürzende Neubauten. The song The Garden evokes, in a darkly minimalist emotionality that is typical for the band, a paradise with four stations. Like the songs and films that so fascinate Hildebrandt, his art also tells simultaneously of tenderness and coldness, romance and harshness.
The floor installation on the lower floor has exactly the dimensions of the Berlin herringbone parquet in Hildebrandts apartment on Rosenthaler Platz in the formerly eastern part of the city. The square on the narrow side consists of about 27,000 cassette felts and measures 79 by 79 cm. On the one hand, these are the measurements of Malevichs Black Square, at the same time 79 stands for the year of birth of his partner, the artist Alicja Kwade.
Die Geschichte läuft über uns is an ambiguous title. It could be translated as The Story Runs Across Us or indeed History Walks Across Us. It is these minimal contact points where the deconstruction of the material finds a new beginning.
Born in 1974 in Bad Homburg, Germany. Gregor Hildebrandt lives and works in Berlin, Germany.