Schleifmühlgasse 18 - 1040 Vienna 
+43-699-19207778 -

19.6. - 22.8.2020
Friday, June 19 from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. 
Saturday, June 20 from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
galerie michaela stock, Schleifmühlgasse 18, 1040 Vienna

Guided tour with Patrick Baumüller & Michaela Stock with Aperitivo Averna
Only up to 15 people can stay in the gallery and take part in the tour.

The new exhibition "Walking the Plank" by the Tyrolean artist Patrick Baumüller in the gallery michaela stock gives an insight into the global consequences of today's consumer society and deals with the biggest driver, deforestation. At the first glance playful sculptures and kinetic installations let the visitor's thoughts revolve around current environmental, economic and existential questions. A lot of it hovers in the air, it hangs on a thin thread of self-forgotten uncertainty or stands sometimes on feet of clay.

Exhibition visitors are confronted with a model of a Trojan horse on a skateboard. The animal's skin was processed with casts from used packaging of Chinese fast food. These are "decoratively" attached to the surface of the supposed gift. However, those protective covers no longer transport food, but they are the carriers of a grotesque transfer. The tendency towards the fabulous in Chinese mythology is revealed here - billions of times produced units of the food industry mutate to the vehicle of a narcissistic tradition in the environment of their often celebrated dragon infatuation. This kind of counteracting retrospection into Old China consciously quotes the saga in a new artistic-interpretive way and leads it ad absurdum. One of their central questions could be: Are we really the creators and shapers of our projected reality or are we not rather falling into the trap we have set ourselves? This masked danger emerges on the outside texture of the once steeled war horse as a deformed distorted image of our consumer society: like pustules of an illness, the abscesses on the skin of the horse's body stand out strikingly towards the viewer.

The hollow packaging capsules are also used as shaping components for the three small bronze sculptures: 舌蛇 {Shé shé} (Zungenschlange), 龙 {Lóng} (Drache) or 碗 {Wǎn} (Schale). It is said that these "rediscovered" grave goods once belonged to an influential medicine man from the early Gang Bang dynasty.

One another work in the exhibition, a parquet board made of precious tropical wood with Chinese lettering refers on the one hand, to the title of the show and on the other hand, to the overexploitation of nature. Patrick Baumüller provides the piece of wood with a Chinese inscription, which in English translation sounds like a prophetic saying: "The forest disappears by time, but this piece of wood, I proudly say, is mine." In the multi-layered and ambiguous title "Walking the Plank," the connotations range from the traditional form of execution on early pirate ships to the idiomatic expression from the business world when someone is told to resign after a business mistake.
In many aspects the greed for material possessions at any price is also addressed. Baumüller leaves this "warning sign" in the room as a mockery to indicate a disproportion between nature and civilization. Indirectly, the object refers to the problem of the worldwide destruction of tropical rainforests as a result of turbo-capitalism.

On the other gallery wall, the Memento Boardi, two-sided processed plywood boards, hang fragile on threads and clips. They stand for a mental journey of reflection in the transition of an artistically motivated exegesis by Baumüller. The handy note-boards represent the interface where inner and outer world meet and merge in a tangible artistic statement in the search for a reading of the entanglement in the medium, as well as in design and form.
Patrick Baumüller, who works with natural materials such as wood and plants in the exhibition, emphasizes the commercial, objectifying aspect of flora (and fauna) in our throw-away society. In an approach inspired by Land Art, Baumüller brings a micro landscape into the conventional exhibition space, questioning what a plant can be worth in its particular environment. Artist's self planted beech trees become living works of art and can be purchased in an auction. At this point, a parallel can be drawn to Klaus Littmann's installation "For Forest" in the Klagenfurt stadium in 2019. Both artists instrumentalize their installations as a memorial against the destruction of our green lung.

In the second gallery space, the viewer encounters Baumüller's kinetic sculptures. As an integral part of his artistic statement the technology-affine movable objects are considered, which are set in motion by a mechanical or electrical driving force. Triggered by a manual impulse of the observer, the devotional kinetic - imitating a submissive, always affirmative gesture - oscillates up and down.
In the Dice Me Nice object, dice use infrasound to try to play fate. A loudspeaker membrane moves the cubes rhythmically animated according to - let's say: random principle - and lets them dance: After all, everything is put at risk, according to Johan Huizinga.

press review > Made und anderes Getier in China, Wiener Zeitung, 19. August 2020

Press photo 1: Patrick Baumüller, Trojan horse, (on skateboard), 2019, sculpture, wood, metal, plaster, plastic, h x w x d: 87 x 70 x 27 cm

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