Saturday, September 15, 2007

John von Bergen

Galerie Lena Bruening is very pleased to present "THE ITCH", the gallery's second exhibition with American artist John von Bergen. His new installations reveal a relationship between objects and forms that shift from the representative to the abstract, exposing actions of distress that offer more questions than answers.

Upon entering the space, the visitor is greeted by a sculpture of an oversized handle attached to an ambiguous object, caught in a supernatural introjection with its pedestal. A quieter project, "Ghost", involves an antique sword that has been innocuously embedded into the gallery wall. Though one must have faith in its presence, its form is obvious, alluding to the wall as a kind of skin. The largest installation, titled "Chase", begins to consume the entire corner of the gallery, where a wall 3 1/2 meters in height is in the process of being stretched into a seemingly form-deceiving membrane.

Since the 1980's numerous essays and discussions have surfaced concerning science-fiction and horror films within a theoretical context, while some films from this genre take direct influence from cultural theory. We may consider this when viewing the exhibition, but can also see ways in which architecture plays an important role for von Bergen's work, as the involvement of a room or building becomes uncanny through such psychological encounters. Just as process and context are relevant to his "UFO-UMIS" drawings, von Bergen's sculptural projects take an interest in these questions. But at the same time "THE ITCH" approaches formal concerns as objects become instruments for testing belief, and suggestive of absurd and surrealistic phenomena fused somewhere between the real and the unreal.

Galerie Lena Bruening, Berlin

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