Smoke is the central stuff and structuring device of e d’ambiente, an exhibition by Jean-Michel Wicker staged with Michael Kleine. The smoke is approached as a screen, acting for or giving space, whilst lifting and removing information. e d’ambiente is a survey of sorts, but also a conversation between Wicker and Kleine and the articulation and enjoyment of a series of moods.
The show exploits the vertical architecture of the Künstlerhaus across two floors, and foregrounds through newly realised and existing works, a long-running engagement with the circuitous language of contemporary desire. Since the early 1990s Wicker’s prolific production has moved across publication, typography, sculpture, gardening and performance: slow and fast forms of circulation and release. A key component of the articulation of the publications, kinetic sculptures and floor sculpture / dance floor is a scenography staged by Wicker and Kleine. The newly realised setting dialogues with the symmetries and dissymmetries of the publication and sculptural display. The setup also strips down and transforms a structure originally conceived by architect Simon Jones, keeping the skeleton of the Salon and introducing its core to a carefully orchestrated set of connections across space and surface: relations between atmosphere, smoke, weight and scale. Here newly conceived works are also inserted into, and function as parts of the decor, including a photographic suite of Wicker’s anti-live performance nr. 2 framed in bright primaries. In terms of material and spatial decisions, the e d’ambiente scenography is shaped by the background and context of Michael Kleine’s work, which is formulated within a setting of opera and theatre. In his productions, Kleine often returns to the relation with the viewer, and how degrees of intimacy shift and unfold across time.
As an invitation, e d’ambiente carries forth a central practice of slowing down and speeding up the reading of positions. It is a process where also the rhythms and forms of circulation are an integral part of their aesthetic and political concerns: a parable and strong desire for change.
In parallel with e d’ambiente at Künstlerhaus Stuttgart, Jean-Michel Wicker is presenting the exhibition futurbella at Bergen Kunsthall (30 October–16 December). These two, related, exhibitions represent Wicker’s biggest institutional presentations to date and are regarded by the artist as an integrated project distributed over two distinct spaces and sites.
Jean-Michel Wicker is the founder and editor of the publishing houses Le Edizioni della Luna (Nice 2006–2008); Le Edizioni della China (Berlin 2008–2011); and Ballabella Papers (Berlin 2009–ongoing). His work has been presented at Cubitt, London; ICA, London; Artists Space, New York; FRAC, Alsace; Kunsthalle Zurich; Kunsthalle Bern; Kunst-Werke, Berlin; and recently at New Theater, Berlin. Apart from his work with printed matter, he was also the founder of the 27m² urban garden Casa Jungle in Nice (2003–2009). Michael Kleine’s work is situated within the contexts of opera and visual art. Since 2007 his scenic works and objects have been shown at the State Opera, Hamburg; Collection Klosterfelde, Hamburg; ZKM, Karlsruhe; the Pavilion of the Volksbühne, Berlin; and Mausoleumskirche, Graz. Recent projects include: Am anderen Ende der Leitung – Michael Kleine (2011); San Ignacio (2013); Ein Stück von und mit Michael Kleine (2013); and 10 Toccaten von Michelangelo Rossi, von Michael Kleine (2014). In September 2015 he will exhibit at the Galerie Helga Maria Klosterfelde Edition Berlin. Kleine often relates to the spectator in his work. Some originate from exchange with other artists. Besides his own productions, he works as a set designer for opera, theatre houses and film.
Realised with the generous support of Bureau des arts plastiques and l’architecture of the Institut Français, Germany, and the French Ministerium for Culture.