Kurt Hentschläger - 'SUB'


26/03/2021 - 23/05/2021

Kurt Hentschläger - 'SUB' :: © iMAL

Starting on the 25th of March and running until the 23th of May 2021, iMAL presents SUB, the latest installation in a series of 4 spatial environments created by Austrian artist Kurt Hentschläger. Set in complete darkness, SUB is an immersive and meditative environment conceived to tingle your senses by skippering between depriving and overloading them. IMAL is bringing the work to Brussels for its European première.

SUB induces a simple yet dramatic perceptual shift: Embarking into pitch black, with the work's gestalt both initially unsettling and then increasingly hypnotic, you are invited to drif off into an ambiguous state of sensory deprivation and overload. The predominant absence of light in SUB is contrasted, in intervals, by bright bursts of animated abstract forms and patterns. Returning back into darkness, ghostly retinal after-images linger, slowly fading until the next eruption of light.

Before entering the installation, your are asked to leave behind your phone and any other communication, photographic, or ‘light emitting devices’. This is to maintain the complete darkness in the installation space and to urge everybody to leave day-to-day habits at the door. In this space of repose, posting to social media, taking selfies, or texting are put on hold. Experiencing SUB makes time and space for a meditative break, a moment of minimized visual sensing without the noise and distraction emitted by a hyper-mediated world. While light in SUB appears for fractions of seconds only, sound is present throughout and is both synchronized to the light events as well as continuously evolving and subtly re-arranging in the space. SUB has no beginning or end and you may enter at any time and stay as long as you desire. Depending on one's position in space, visual and sonic impressions will vary substantially.

New York based Austrian artist Kurt Hentschläger creates immersive, audio-visual installations and performances. Between 1992 and 2003 he worked collaboratively within the artist duo "Granular-Synthesis". Hentschläger’s works have characteristically been visceral and immersive, as in FEED (2005) and ZEE (2008), with extreme perceptual effects, composed from light, sound and fog. These works physiologically affect the viewer's experience. His CLUSTER series (2009-2012) builds on the uncanny, by portraying 3D representations of humanoid creatures that can only exist in dynamic flux, seeming to swirl and flow like the wind, apparently unhinged from the screen that they are projected on. His most recent body of work is tracing the concept of nature and appropriation of nature in the 21st century.

His latest solo exhibitions include the presentation of SOL, an immersive audio-visual installation presented at Berghain Halle, Berlin and ORT, a video wrap of a theatre building, in Le Havre both presented in 2017. In 2018 he presented ZEE at the Schauspielhaus in Bochum. The world-première of SUB took place in 2019 during Mana Contemporary in New York.

Selected presentations include the Venice Biennial, the Venice Theater Biennial, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, PS1 New York, FuturePerfect New York, MAC - Musée d'Art Contemporain Montreal, MAK – Museum of Applied Arts Vienna, National Art, ZKM Karlsruhe, Museum of China Beijing, National Museum for Contemporary Art Seoul, ICC Tokyo, Arte Alameda Mexico City, MONA – Museum of Old and New Art, Hobart, Tasmania, Sharjah Art Foundation.

In 2010 he won the Quartz Media Art Award in Paris. In 2012 he was commissioned, as part of the Cultural Program of the 2012 London Olympics / London Festival, to create CORE, a large-scale, symphonic installation.

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