Dominik, Empty Pictures 5, 2013, spray paint on wall, M35, Luzern, Courtesy: the artist
Dominik, Empty Pictures 3, 2013, spray paint on wall, Die Bedürfnisanstalt, Hamburg, Courtesy: the artist
Dominik, Empty Pictures 6, 2013, spray paint on wall,, Boutique, Cologne, Courtesy: the artist
David Hinton, Snow, 2003, Courtesy: Illuminations, London
Geumhyung Jeong, Record Stop Play, 2011, Courtesy: the artist
Auguste and Louis Lumière, Dans Serpentine, 1896, Courtesy: Association frères Lumière, Paris
Bruce McLean, Drumstick, 2012, Courtesy: the artist and Tanya Leighton Gallery, Berlin
Georges Méliès, Un homme de tête, 1989, Courtesy: Lobsterfilms, Paris
Gérard Miller / Suzanne Hommel, Rendez-vous chez Lacan, 2012, Courtesy: Morgane Production, Neuilly sur Seine
Karen Mirza and Brad Butler, Hold Your Ground, 2012, Courtesy: Waterside Contemporary, London
Banu Narciso, Untitled, 2014, Courtesy: the artist
Marianne Wex, „Weibliche“ und „männliche“ Körpersprache als Folge patriarchalischer Machtverhältnisse, 1979, Courtesy: the artist

(Courtesy, unless otherwise stated: the artists)

Laura Bielau (b. 1981, lives in Berlin)
Color Lab Club, 2007–today

Multipart photo series
, 2007; Man Ray, 2007; Labor, 2007: Niedersächsische Sparkassenstiftung, Hannover
All other works: The artist
In this photo series, Laura Bielau explores the relations between the production sites and apparatuses of photography and body poses. The setting here is among other things a laboratory, which becomes a backdrop for erotically charged nudes in classic pin-up poses and for perfectly arranged still lifes from standard darkroom inventory. Bodies and objects are positioned for the camera, but they also step beyond the clichés invoked here: for instance when the nude models interact with the laboratory instruments.

Leigh Bowery / Cerith Wyn Evans
(L.B.: b. 1961 in Sunshine, Australia, d. 1994 in London; C. W. E.: b. 1958 in Llanelli, lives in London)
Leigh Bowery. Tape Two Day One, 1988
Video documentation of a performance, silent, ca. 50 min.
Copyright: Cerith Wyn Evans
Courtesy: Gary Carsley and Estate of Leigh Bowery
This video documentation filmed by Cerith Wyn Evans was created in the scope of Leigh Bowery’s 1988 performance at the Anthony d’Offay Gallery in London. Over the course of the five-day event (October 11–15), Bowery performed for several hours each day in a room with récamière sofa while frequently changing costume. A mirrored pane of glass the size of a shop window separated him from the audience. While the spectators could observe him through the glass, Bowery himself saw only his mirror image. The nearly one-hour-long, unedited video documentation—the second recording made on the first day—fosters an intimate, real-time-like situation with an atmosphere ranging from sober to melancholic. Bowery only minimally changes his poses in front of, behind, and on top of the sofa and occasionally disappears into darkness. The camera responds in turn with a reformulation of perspective that is both unexcited and steady, repeatedly repositioning Bowery in the picture.

DOMINIK (b. 1981 in Oberkirch, lives in Stuttgart and Naples)
Untitled, 2014
Spray paint on wall
The space-encompassing murals by DOMINIK navigate the boundaries between graffiti tags and calligraphy, poetry and slogans, language and stuttering, sense and nonsense. They directly present the act of “not finding one’s way” in language.

Margit Emmrich (b. 1949, lives in Leipzig)
Die Zeit dazwischen: Dokumente zur Pubertät, 1973–74 / 2011–12

Sixteen-part photo series (eight pairs), 20 x 13 cm each
In her work called Die Zeit dazwischen: Dokumente zur Pubertät (The In-Between Time: Documenting Puberty), Margit Emmrich hones in on the self-staging of youth at the threshold between childhood and puberty. The point of departure is an experiment that she carried out in the seventies at a school in Leipzig. She invited groups of students to two photo shoots in the same classroom held one year apart. At both shoots the students were asked to represent themselves in front of the camera at a specifically marked spot. Emmrich herself left the room during the act of photographing after training the camera on the young people and setting the delayed-action shutter release. Nearly forty years later, in 2011 and 2012, Emmrich conducted the same experiment with youth from the same school, maybe even in the identical classroom setting.

Lutz Förster (b. 1953, lives in Wuppertal)
The Man I Love (in Nelken, 1982, by Pina Bausch)

Video documentation of a dance solo from Nelken (1982) by Pina Bausch.  Excerpt from the film Un jour Pina m'a demandé (1983) von Chantal Akerman
Courtesy: INA Mediapro, Paris
As part of his solo in Pina Bausch’s piece Nelken (1982), Lutz Förster performed an adaptation of George Gershwin’s song The Man I Love, integrating sign language and dance. While the song is played, with this rendition sung by Sophie Tucker, Förster interprets it through the gestures of his hands, accompanied by his lips in motion.

Till Gathmann (lives in Berlin and Vienna)
A Dream Comes True, 2008; A/B/V (für Institut), 2014

Installation with three tables and video (HD-Video, 16‘)
The research project is tracing the story and its historical circumstances of the self-taught letterform historian and expert on V, Alfred Kallir (1899–1983). Kallir, born into a Jewish family in Vienna, witnessed the decay of the Habsburg Monarchy, hoped for a career as a violinist in the USA—a shattered dream, which was followed by employments as a manager for the international corporation Witkowitz Steel Works in Czechoslovakia, Amsterdam, and London, where he witnessed (and possibly worked against) the destruction of the company through Hermann Göring’s greedy hands.
This chapter is closed in 1941 in England, where he finally—inspired by Winston Churchill’s spreading of his two-fingered victory sign—drowned himself for the rest of his life in an obsessive but poorly acknowledged research on the genealogy of letterforms and their “hidden meaning.”

Douglas Gordon (*1966, lives in Berlin and Glasgow)
10 ms-1, 1994

Video installation
Courtesy: British Council Collection, London
Douglas Gordon‘s video installation 10 ms-1—the title refers to the speed at which an object falls under the pull of gravity—is based on silent films of scientific experiments in World War I. The film shows a men in an empty room wearing only his underpants. He falls to the floor after taking a couple of clumsy steps. His repeated attempts to stand up fail miserably. Gordon has created a loop using this short scene. The man continually tries to stand up, but he never succeeds. The scene is also in slow motion. Since the man appears in good physical and almost athletic shape, the viewer is left to speculate that he is suffering from shock, a war-induced neurosis or is under the influence of nerve gas or drugs—or he also could be an actor who is merely pretending a symptom for scientific purposes. The video is projected onto a free-standing screen transfering it into a kind of double „suspense.“ 

David Hinton (GB)
Snow, 2003

Video, 6 min.
David Hinton in collaboration with Rosemary Lee, courtesy: Illuminations, London
Snow is a composition of historical film fragments ranging from the eighteen-nineties to the nineteen-sixties. People can be seen in snow, on black ice, and in other inclement weather conditions dancing and teetering, elegantly gliding and engaged in slapstick.

Geumhyung Jeong (b. 1980 in Seoul, lives in Seoul)
Record, Stop, Play, 2011

Video, 8 min.
This video revolves around the interplay and superimpositions between a filmed animated object and the pictures produced by the object itself: the head of a doll that is pulled over a camera on a tripod, with the lens popping out of one of the doll’s eyeholes. Again and again a third party appears in the mix: the artist interacting with the object and the camera. Set to rhythm by the whirr of the camera, the film oscillates between the various visual and temporal planes of recording and rendition, the filmmaker and the film subject, the one doing the arranging and the subject thereof.

Gülsün Karamustafa (b. 1946, lives in Istanbul)
The Monument and the Child, 2011

Video and photocollage
Courtesy: the artist, RAMPA Istanbul and British Pathé (video), London

The video work and photocollage are part of an overall installation titled The Monument and the Child. The collage harks back to a photograph that the artist’s father took of her when she was a child. It shows the girl interacting physically with a monument in Ankara, which had been erected in the nineteen-thirties under Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. “As a child,” remembers the artist, “I grew up under the enormous pressure that this ‘monument of trust,’ as it was called, exerted on me.” The girl in the photo gives a suggestion of extending the giant statue with her bare hands. With a playful gesture, she inverts power relations.
The video work, in turn, is based on a document stored in the British media archive called British Pathé, in a film about a child prodigy produced in 1931. The touching excerpt, which the artist has turned into an endless loop, shows a little girl on stage who is trying to dance along a circle drawn on the floor. Yet the dance seems to be more than just desperate floundering as the child attempts to follow the circle as if mesmerized while swinging out again and again. The “successful” movements, by contrast, appear to reflect an unintended “clownesque” caricature of dancing itself.

Auguste and Louis Lumière
(A.L.: b. 1862 in Besançon, d. 1954 in Lyon; L.L.: b. 1864 in Besançon, d. 1948 in Bandol, Var)
Dans Serpentine, 1896
Video, 0:53 min.
Courtesy: Association frères Lumière, Paris
In one of the first films by the Lumière brothers, the so-called Serpentine Dance by dancer and choreographer Loïe Fuller was shown, performed on a barren stage. Alongside Isadora Duncan and Ruth St. Denis, Fuller counts among the founders of modern dance. The Serpentine Dance, which here is performed not by Fuller herself but by an unnamed female dancer, does not follow a narrative or plot. Instead, it focuses on the interplay between movement, a flowing garment with integrated wire, and lighting effects. The velocity of the spinning movement turns the body into a continual vortex that almost dissolves in something of an infinite loop. The stage situation is reminiscent of the experimental arrangements of early photographic and filmic movement research. So as to better convey the light and color effects of Fuller’s production—which played with mirrors, light, and other technical means—the film was colored by hand.

Bruce McLean (b. 1944, lives in London)
Drumstick, 2012

Video performance with Bruce McLean and Adam de la Cour, 16:56 min.
Courtesy: the artist and Tanya Leighton Gallery, Berlin
The video performance Drumstick focuses on problems in communication—the act of “not finding one’s way” in language—by taking a downright literal approach. It refers this inability to speak, which is compensated by the gesture, as noted by Italian philosopher Giorgio Agamben. Endless lengths of text are strung through the mouths of cardboard characters, with all three featuring the face of the artist. The performance is not only overlaid with subtitles reminiscent of a news ticker but also with an edited compilation of ventriloquist voices from different films, re-enacted and performed by Adam de la Cour. The rhythm provides a steady monotone drumbeat.

Georges Méliès (b. 1861 in Paris, d. 1938 in Paris)
Un homme de tête, 1989

Film on DVD, 1:04 min.
Courtesy: Lobsterfilms, Paris
Georges Méliès, a magician, variety theater artist, theater owner, and pioneer of the cinema of attraction, is said to have invented the stop trick when his camera malfunctioned, thus allowing people and things to disappear. While a traditional magician employs false floors and a series of gestural diversions, the craft of the cinematographic magician involves editing, double exposure, and model shots. Nonetheless, Méliès mimics the gestures of a conventional magician in his filmed magic tricks. In Un homme de tête (The Four Troublesome Heads), the artist duplicates his own head by repeatedly severing it from his body, with the head then reappearing from nowhere again and again, until a foursome of heads make music together. To a certain extent, the headless Méliès—more like homme 100 têtes—presents the mechanics of filmmaking quite literally. It is similar to a guillotine that severs the head from the torso at such high speed that the cut becomes invisible to the human eye.

Gérard Miller / Suzanne Hommel
(G.M.: b. 1948, lives in France)
Rendez-vous chez Lacan, 2012
Video excerpt, 1:02 min.
Courtesy: Morgane Production, Neuilly sur Seine
In a raw, whispered voice, Suzanne Hommel describes a session with the French psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan in Gérard Miller’s documentary film Rendez-vous chez Lacan (2012). After telling him that she wakes up every morning at 5 o’clock—the same hour that the Gestapo came to get the Jews in their houses under National Socialism—Lacan jumped up from his chair and caressed her cheek in an extraordinarily tender gesture. Still today she can feel this touch, forty years later, and Hommel also claims that, though it did not diminish her pain, it precipitated a decisive shift. She understood this touch as a gesture: a geste à peau or “gesture of the skin,” with the word Gestapo turned into geste à peau—an “appeal to humanity,” as she calls it.

Karen Mirza and Brad Butler (London)
Hold Your Ground, 2012

HD Video, 7’ 57’’
Commissioned by Video Umbrella, Courtesy: Waterside Contemporary, London
Hold Your Ground is a companion piece to a larger film work by Karen Mirza and Brad Butler, scripted in conjunction with the author China Miéville. Inspired by the events of the “Arab Spring”, and triggered by the artists’ discovery in Cairo of a pamphlet of instructions for pro-democracy demonstrators, called ‘How to Protest Intelligently’, the piece dissects the ‘semantics’ of the crowd, and the resulting performative ‘speech act’. It was conceived as a form of protest in Canary Wharf Tube Station in Spring 2012 against the ongoing political injunction prohibiting any form of gathering or protest in the capital of the banking district.

Banu Narciso (b. 1972 in Turkey, lives in Geneva, Nyon and Zurich)
Untitled, 2014

Carbon and pastel on paper, 173x98 cm
This drawing by Banu Narciso shows a portrait or a mask that is made up only of hair, of a thick coiffure, as if a face were hiding behind it. As an emblematic reference to the portrait and to female identity, the meticulously depicted hair and curls develop a life of their own, becoming a landscape or cavern, a thicket or curtain.

Tibor Szemzö (b.1955 in Budapest, lives in Budapest)
Invisible Story, 2009

Video, ca. 20 Min
This video work is based on the montage of various educational films from the German Democratic Republic about sports and the natural sciences. The segments on sports depict people training to achieve optimal sequences of movement, which is shown through various repetitions, sometimes in real time, sometimes in slow motion, occasionally supported by graphics. The film fragments related to the natural sciences, in turn, are essentially comprised of graphic visualizations and simulations of abstract chemical operations or physical processes.
In the audio layer, various musical pieces are heard, composed by the musician and filmmaker Tibor Szemzö to accompany the poetic text “The Invisible Story” (1943) by the Hungarian author Béla Hamvas (1897–1968). Moreover, this audio layer contains excerpts from this text, which revolves around the relations between worldly and otherworldly powers, around the past and the future.

Vangelis Vlahos (b. 1971 in Athen, lives in Athen)
“1981” (Allagi), 2007

6 from a series of 22 collages, 75 x 105 cm, each

The project “1981” (Allagi), with a total of twenty-two panels, was conceived as a critical rereading of the first nine months of the Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK) administration in Greece in the year 1981, directly following the end of the dictatorship. It is a rereading that ensues along gestures in the media of political, societal, and cultural nature. The collages are composed of photographs and news images that originate from the archive of the right-wing newspaper Eleftheros Kosmos (Free World). They render the material in chronological order like a calendar. Despite—or precisely because of—this strict order, a coincidental, idiosyncratic narrative evolves. The Greek word allagi means change. It was the main slogan used by PASOK during the election campaign in 1981. Vangelis Vlahos seeks to reflect on the ambiguity of this term in his work. The exhibition shows a selection of six panels that focus on the beginning and the end of the time period in question.

Maja Vukoje (b. 1969, lives in Vienna)

10 Divas, 2009
Seven from a series of ten paintings, various dimensions, mixed media
Courtesy: various private collections; Galerie Martin Janda, Vienna
This painting series is devoted to various legendary soul and bolero singers, including Diana Ross and Nancy Sinatra, posing against a blank background. Sometimes they are seen as portraits, other times as close-ups. The artist pays special attention to the gestures, stances, fashion, and diverse formulas of pathos. Some poses seem to be slightly exaggerated. The highly glamorous divas appear almost bodiless, almost spectrally translucent, at times all eyes or hands and face.

Untitled, 2013; 80DD, 2013; Untitled, 2012
Painting, variable dimensions, acrylic and glitter on canvas
Courtesy: various private collections; Galerie Martin Janda, Vienna
In this series of paintings, femininity, glamour, and showbiz are reduced to pivotal fetish objects and elements of body formation: high heels, hat, and brassiere. They have been figuratively painted onto the raw canvas, with their fetish nature simultaneously being inflated by the application of glitter.

Anita Witek (b. 1969, lives in Vienna)
Before and After, 2003

Slide installation with three projections
In Before and After, Anita Witek explores the history of the dispositif of photography by focusing on the motif of the photo studio. She has compiled hundreds of pictures on this subject, starting with the inception of photography through to today, which provide the basis of this work. The photographs display myriad arrangements and settings, ranging from opulent scenes to barren cells. The works give rise to telling inferences about the act of posing and the bodily state within these settings, but also about the relations between model and photographer. They are pictures of “photographic scenes of crime” (Witek) that generally remain hidden while still formidably influencing the photographs. Here Witek is concerned with the potential of the non-visible, with what would be seen in each photo were the photographer to have taken a few steps back. Each installation varies in form depending on the exhibition; the installation shown in Stuttgart is comprised of three synchronized slide projections.

Marianne Wex (b. 1937 in Hamburg, lives in Höhr-Grenzhausen)
“Female” and “Male” Body Language as a Result of Patriarchal Structurs, 1979

Books and prints
In her large-scale project "Female” and “Male” Body Language as a Result of Patriarchal Structurs, which was created between 1972 and 1977, Marianne Wex investigates how gender becomes inscribed in gestures and posture through over 5,000 photographs. In addition to her own photo studies on this topic pursued along the streets of Hamburg, the artist’s collection also encompasses comprehensive found image material that covers a broad historical range. The pictures, accompanied by text, have been mounted onto panels and sorted according to various criteria: arm and hand placements, legs and feet, head and shoulders, etc. Photographs of anonymous passersby, celebrities, or cultural-historical objects all appear in the various series—photos of figures who are more or less consciously posing. Dominating the image sequences is similar body language, which paradoxically makes the pictures seem like stills from a film, but a motionless film. It is quite apparent that the intent is to carve out patterns and stereotypes that are repeatedly also juxtaposed with exceptions. All photographs are numbered, and in the case of famous personages a name is also given, or the source when dealing with found footage. In addition to the panels, Wex has also published a book whose composition essentially follows that of the panels. The exhibition presents the book along with several panel excerpts.

Schlossplatz 2
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Württembergischer Kunstverein Stuttgart