Through a small door sat recessed within a heavy-set wall, white gloss painted walls hang and fold down into a space punctuated by several black gloss coated doors. Tonal sound fills the space in pockets and holes that shift and move. Directly opposite is a single prefabricated white metal panel filled with polyurethane and secured with bolts via white powder-coated metal brackets to the concrete floor. Fixed frontally to this is a small white powder-coated, wall-mounted heater powered by a single small, dark grey and lime green box with digital display also powering a small ceramic pink, white and green house-shaped object containing a light bulb. Mounted to the right are two tall long black speakers, a bit too close together, from which emit the aforementioned sounds. At a distance and facing these, are three more prefabricated white metal panels filled with polyurethane and secured with bolts via white powder-coated metal brackets to the concrete floor. Each panel contains one single plug power supply that runs, with white coated electrical cable, to multiple adapters set into white surface-mounted wall sockets. Two of these panels have small black plastic moulded lanterns attached to them, the white coated cables for which run to the plug points of another. Running behind and parallel to these, a row of forty ceramic objects with black text printed on them are wrapped in pairs in an abundance of red heart and clear cellophane with a combination of oversized pull bows and light pink and red curled ribbon that sits, entrail-like, at the base of each object. Set back against this line, are a further two larger prefabricated white metal panels filled with polyurethane and secured with bolts via white powder-coated metal brackets into the concrete floor. Both panels contain small fixed double-glazed windows with vents and double plug power supplies that each run with white coated electrical cable to single adapters set into white surface-mounted wall sockets. On the back of one panel, mounted low and close, is a large monitor screen running a video file from a small concealed media player, the cables of which are held together with a combination of cable ties and an unlocked heart-shaped padlock. To power this equipment, a long white lead folds around to reach the power source of the second panel. The sockets of the first panel remain unused and covered. Also featured, hung low on the white gloss walls are 272 close-cropped images taken over the years 2017, 2018, 2019 inclusive.
Ghislaine Leung (b. 1980, Stockholm, Sweden) lives and works in London, UK. Recent solo projects include: Power Relations, ESSEX STREET, New York City; CONSTITUTION, Chisenhale Gallery, London (2019); VIOLETS 2, Netwerk, Aalst; Local Studies, Reading International, Reading (2018); The Moves, Cell Project Space, London (2017); 078746844, WIELS, Brussels (2016). Leung is a member of PUBLIKATIONEN + EDITIONEN. Her first collection of writings, Partners, was published by Cell Project Space in 2018 and her second publication with Divided is forthcoming in 2020.
Photography: Frank Kleinbach
CONSTITUTION was commissioned and produced by Chisenhale Gallery, London, (25 January – 24 March, 2019) with production support by EMPAC, The Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute through their artist in residence programme. Additional and context-contingent elements have been produced for Künstlerhaus Stuttgart.
Realised with the generous support of Fürstenberg Zeitgenössisch, Donaueschingen and ESSEX STREET, New York.
Factor X / The Work
On the one hand, a deep-seated continuity appears to link all things and all events and lend them a significance that provokes wonder. Whether this continuity is seen as material or ideal, magical or rational, it gives a sense of an immanent and expansive connection – a connective tissue and consciousness extending beyond the one I. On the other, there is the feeling that things are out of control, heading in a direction that is impossible, severed and out of joint. There is a flickering between these positions in Abel Auer’s work.
Much of his art has to do with paying attention to the hidden, obscure and unknowable – that place where sheer cognition will not take us. A space not so much explored as a trajectory of escapism, but as an urgent material and spiritual necessity. The intersection, between the concrete, and that which cannot be contained within a dominant archetype of the real, not as poles but as totally interconnected parts, is central to his thinking. A thinking and making which moves between a pitch and logic of spiritual histories of the 19th and early 20th century avant-garde, and the intensity and fervour of the conspiracy, and the dark web.
This show has developed from an extended period of exchange around survivalism and modes of living with extinction, with radical unity, magic and beauty. Factor X / The Work comprises drawings and paintings, collage, video, props and materials of Auer’s – a proposition and temporary structure of existing and newly realised work.
Abel Auer (b. 1974, Munich) was a co-founder of the Hamburg-based collective Isotrop in the 1990s, followed by long-standing collaborations with artists including Kai Althoff, Dorota Jurczak and Armin Krämer. His work has been exhibited at Corvi-Mora, London; Etablissement d’en Face, Brussels; Michael Benevento, Los Angeles; P.S.1 MoMA, New York; Bozar Centre for Fine Arts, Brussels, amongst others. Over the last six years, Auer has been based in Stuttgart, where he also ran the project space Staub Raum (Künstlerhaus Stuttgart). From October, 2019 he is professor at the University of Fine Arts Hamburg (HFBK). Auer is represented by Corvi-Mora, London; Sies + Höke, Düsseldorf, Galerie Jo van de Loo, Munich and Galerie für Gegenwartskunst Barbara Claassen-Schmal, Bremen.
Photography: Frank Kleinbach
Realised with the generous support of Corvi-Mora, London; Fürstenberg Zeitgenössisch, Donaueschingen; and Albrecht Hauff, Thieme Verlag