WER SPRICHT? (WHO‘S SPEAKING?) @ KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin
In continually changing formations cutting across all artistic genres, Michael Müller examines processes of composition and translation in visual art. Proceeding from the drawing medium and its specific strategies for visual invention at the boundary between line and form, idea and depiction, Müller transfers this tension from surface into space – and puts it to work as an installation. WHO’S SPEAKING? brings together works from recent years with specifically-developed new productions, which use various ways for investigating the question of artistic authorship.
From Müller’s perspective, “who is speaking?” also means “what is being said?” and “why?” But also “who is listening?” The exhibited works return time and again to the issue of how an artist becomes visible in his work. Each single piece stands at a pressure point between the application or transformation of historical and contemporary artistic codes, and the artist’s personal obsessions.
For WHO’S SPEAKING? Müller has conceived new versions of two figures – Hermes and Hermaphroditos – who weave a web of references and connections between the individual works, and accompany the viewer throughout the exhibition. As the voice in a new sound installation, the protagonist of a video, or as a figurative sculpture that reverses the relationship between work and viewer, these two figures from Greek mythology appear in both expected and unexpected places, and link the content of the exhibition’s two floors formally.
Michael Müller (* 1970 in Ingelheim) lives and works in Berlin. His work has been shown at Des Moines Art Center, US (2014); Kunsthalle zu Kiel, DE (2010); National Gallery of New Delhi, IN (2009); CGAC in Santiago de Compostela, ES (2008); and Kunstverein Hannover, DE (2003). From 2013 to 2016 the gallery Thomas Schulte shows an exhibition cycle, consisting of eighteen shows by Michael Müller. WHO’S SPEAKING? is his first institutional solo exhibition.
All images © Frank Sperling