Anna Meliksetian and Michael Briggs are pleased to present 1997/2013, an installation featuring two video works, colored light and sound by Vienna based artists Richard Hoeck and Heimo Zobernig.
In this exhibition, a lighting environment in green neon spatially links two video works. In these works, an abstract monochrome in green shifts slowly through the color spectrum, growing darker until it becomes an almost black dark green, then lightening until it’s nearly white., slowly, imperceptibly, similar to Terry Riley’s Composition in C (1964), where a chord merges seamlessly into the next. The yellow tones, then the portions of blue in the color are strengthened and each progresses through the same phases of becoming darker, then lighter. Within the color change and modulation in the brightness of the tones, there is a series of interruptions – identical bursts of a double self-portrait of the artists, their eyes marked with artificial red dots at the very spot where flash-stunned eyes react and beam light back, in a fraction of a second.
The soundtrack, a sort of minimalist soundscape of song fragments (of varying degrees of proficiency) in the chord of A, is an indirect correspondence to the unstable color tone of the video image. Recorded in the street with friends, at home and in bars, the soundtrack gives the works a dissonant and discontinuous polyphony. The works reference two relevant features of Islamic cultural history, in the video, the sacred color green and in the soundtrack, the muezzin’s call to prayer.
The project developed from an invitation to participate in the 5th Istanbul Biennial (1997) where the video was first shown. The artists followed up this idea and made a second variation of the video in 2013, which makes its debut in this exhibition. As well as the Istanbul Biennial, the video Grün, (1997) has been shown at the Belvedere Palace / Österreichische Galerie Belvedere, Vienna and the Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven and is in the collection of the Generali Foundation currently on loan to the Museum der Moderne, Salzburg. The work Grün, (2013) is being shown for the first time and it is the first time the works have been presented alongside one another. The works will also be shown in 2016 at the Ursula Blickle Stiftung in Kreichtal, Germany.
Richard Hoeck (b. 1965, Hall, Tirol, Austria) currently lives and works in Vienna and New York and studied at Universität für angewandte Kunst, Vienna. Hoeck has exhibited widely in Europe and is currently showing in the two person exhibition Mannequin Death with John Miller at Marc Jancou Contemporary, Geneva and is included in an upcoming group show at White Columns, New York curated by Bob Nickas. Hoeck was a participant in the artist in residence program at the MAK Center for Art and Architecture in Los Angeles in 2001/2. A new publication More Real Than Those Who Made Them with John Miller and edited by Bob Nickas comes out in August from the University of Chicago Press.
Heimo Zobernig (b. 1958, Mauthen, Austria) lives and works in Vienna. Zobernig is currently Austria’s representative at the 56th Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy and his work is on view until November at the Austrian Pavilion. He has exhibited extensively throughout Europe and worldwide including a 2013 touring retrospective at the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid, Spain and Kunsthaus Graz, Graz, Austria (catalog) and a major site specific installation off-site at the Kunsthalle Zurich (cat.) curated by Beatrix Ruf in 2011. Upcoming solo shows in 2015 include the Kunsthaus Bregenz, Bregenz, Austria, Galerie Bärbel Grässlin, Frankfurt, and Simon Lee Gallery, London.
Special thanks to Thomas D. Trummer, Kunsthaus Bregenz, Eva Badura–Triska, MUMOK/ Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig, Vienna, and Bernhard Riff, Vienna.