One of the outstanding architectural features of the Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg is its large central hall, which has a floor area of 40 x 40 metres and a height of 16 metres. From time to time, this impressive space is made available to selected artists to develop large-scale, site-specific installations: one such project was carried out by Olafur Eliasson in 2004, another by Douglas Gordon in 2007 and, most recently, James Turrell incorporated the central hall in his extensive exhibition The Wolfsburg Project. Following the major presentation of work by Alberto Giacometti, the space will now be used by the artist Gerwald Rockenschaub to make what he calls a “precise intervention”. At the last documenta, held in Kassel in 2007, Rockenschaub created a striking display of brightly coloured installations in various locations throughout the mega-exhibition. In 2008 he surprised visitors to the Temporäre Kunsthalle in Berlin with his simple yet highly effective design for the facade of the exhibition space on the city”s Schlossplatz.
In the monumental interior space of the Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg, Rockenschaub plans to erect a 70m-long and 11m-high angled wall, the front of which will be completely covered with hundreds of different pictographic motifs. In the adjoining gallery spaces and on the mezzanine level, the artist will make subtle interventions into the architecture and present objects that can be perceived both as artworks and as items of practical use. Whether these are objects, installations or coloured foil pieces, the different elements are interconnected parts of a system of reference that combines art history, pop culture and architecture. This is particularly apparent in the large work installed in the middle of the hall, which also provides the title of the exhibition. With its apparently innumerable colour modules, it draws the viewer into a sublime experience of “sex for the eyes” that reveals much about our everyday reality, where we are constantly bombarded with advertising images and other visual stimuli and every possibility is open to us: “multidial” can therefore also be seen as a kind of monument to today”s “multi-option society” (Peter Gross).
Gerwald Rockenschaub was born in 1952 in the Austrian city of Linz and currently lives in Berlin.
Parallel to “Gerwald Rockenschaub. multidial” (April 16 to September 4, 2011), the Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg is showing the exhibition “Art & Fashion. Between Skin and Clothing” from March 5 to August 7, 2011.
Caption: Detail from: Gerwald Rockenschaub, Untitled, 2010/2011, wall with 385 subjects. Courtesy Galerie Mehdi Chouakri, Berlin/Georg Kargl Fine Arts, Wien/Galerie Susanna Kulli, Zürich/Galerie Vera Munro, Hamburg/Galerie Eva Presenhuber, Zürich/Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, Paris, Salzburg
The Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg was opened in 1994 and can already look back at a unique history with numerous authoritative exhibitions and events. Within a brief period of time, it has been possible for the museum to position itself locally and find international recognition at the same time. The museum is dedicated to modern and contemporary art, combining diverse media ranging from painting, photography and sculpture and the new media to fashion and design. The striking modernist building located in the heart of the city presents temporary exhibitions as well as works from its own collection on 3,500 square meters.