Alwin Lay – Prospective #4

Alwin Lay offers a language of images with its own logic, opening up a different perspective on the relationship between us and that which surrounds us.

“I’m interested in what my toaster might be doing when I’m on vacation.”

This is the question Alwin Lay asked himself with Prospective #4, an exhibition of new works at Natalia Hug Gallery.

Alwin Lay is endlessly occupied with seemingly unobserved objects. The calmness of the gaze
within his photographic work seems to once again lend the viewer a feeling of catching an
object in the middle of an action and have been front and center in Alwin Lay’s images. We
are captivated by the objects, fundamentally assuming their rigidity. He is now setting them
in motion: never standing still, they are slowly unfurling within the viewer’s gaze. The longer
we observe, the more agile the scenery becomes. These everyday ‘things’—whose roles we are familiar with—are removed from their normal uses to instead become physical impossibilities. In the face of things that find themselves in dissolution during the process of being viewed, viewers are confronted with their own expectations. These independent images contain narrations that remain within themselves; their peculiar circumstances challenge the viewer’s ways of seeing. The paradox of Lays’s works is not resolved on closer inspection; it is rather perpetuated in a continuing series of correspondences.

While his art practice, normally evocative of a white cube, has in the past avoided any clear
locality, it embeds small local references in a number of the new works. A further narrative
component thus develops, both within the sculptural object and in its spatial correlation. This
is continued in Prospective #4 via a spatial intervention into Gallery. By darkening the room,
Lay lends it a passe-partout framing from the outside. Only a small section is left free, allowing the viewer to observe a light box which, in turn, functions as a continuation of the room. Like a teaser, the installation now functions as a messenger, an element that connects the street and the exhibition space. In addition to the light box, other photographic works will be shown for the first time. In cooperation with Daata Editions, the gallery is also pleased to present the premiere of a new video work BIC Maxi Short. Daata was founded in 2015 and is a platform for a new way of thinking about the promotion and collection of moving image and sound. (daata-editions.com). The language of images develops its own logic, opening up a different perspective on the relationship between us and that which surrounds us. Thus, rather than placing human existence above the object, Lay dissolves the privilege between the two.

Marisa Zeising
Alwin Lay (born 1984 in Romania) graduated from the Academy of Media Arts Cologne and
was a student in Christopher Williams’s class at Kunstakademie Düsseldorf. He has had solo
exhibitions at the Neuer Aachener Kunstverein, the Max Ernst Museum in Brühl, and the
Kunstverein Leipzig. His work was recently shown in the New Generation group exhibitions in
the Museum Morsbroich in Leverkusen and at other venues including Deichtorhallen Hamburg, Museum Ostwall in Dortmund, Kunstmuseum Bonn, Basis in Frankfurt, and Kunstverein Düsseldorf. In July 2020, a solo exhibition will open at Museum Braunschweig.

Marisa Zeising