Review: Andreas Gefeller at Hasted Hunt


Exhibition Reviews

I decided to add exhibition reviews as a new feature to this blog. Just like all new features, it will probably remain an experiment for a while, since I have to I figure out what I want to write and how, and numerous other issues.

Hasted Hunt’s earlier exhibition of Andreas Gefeller’s work was a big success, for reasons which are easily apparent from this recent show: Gefeller’s work needs huge prints, and they look just stunning under Diasec. Here’s photography that clearly works extremely well… no, that just has to be displayed this way (in comparison, the book needs to show details of some of the photos so you can actually get an idea of what you are looking at). If you haven’t seen Gefeller’s work in an exhibition setting, you owe it to yourself to experience it - the visual impact is quite stunning. And just like all shows at this gallery, everything looks simply spotless.

But what are we to make of this work now? Those who saw the earlier show might also experience something like a deja vu: There is not much new here. Not that there is necessarily anything wrong with that. But it is this show that made me write my shtick post, since when walking through the exhibition I was left wondering whether Gefeller had exhausted the technique. Maybe. Maybe not.

I hate to say this (given that I have been such a fan of this work), but some of the images did not work at all for me. There’s a beach, where you can see the water meeting the sand. Since the water is moving more rapidly than the artist is able to record the individual frames, the water’s pattern is very disjoint, and the effect of the large construct is falling apart. Likewise, there is some other photo where I couldn’t figure out what I was looking at - it was just rectangles of different colours. For me, Gefeller’s “Supervisions” live from the fact that they can or actually should be seen at different distances, and when you take that away from them, they lose a lot of their appeal.

But there are other new images that work very well and that seem to extend the technique (in the sense of moving from applying it to something to see what it would look like to applying it to something to get a sense of a bigger picture), such as the Düsseldorf Kunstakademie composite one (and not because of the significance of the place): A whole floor of that (in)famous art academy, shown in all its messy glory. Maybe that’s where what risks becoming a shtick might find a way to expand?