Artists in Focus #7 | Executive Two Litre GXL

Liam Gillick
October 20, 2009 – March 21, 2010

Liam Gillick

Prototype MAK Production Pavilion (Housed in the Countryside), 2009
Dyed MDF, wood

 

Photo © Wolfgang Woessner/MAK 

Liam Gillick

Prototype MAK Production Pavilion (Housed in the Countryside), 2009
Dyed MDF, wood

 

Photo © Wolfgang Woessner/MAK 

Liam Gillick

Prototype MAK Production Pavilion (Housed in the Countryside), 2009
Dyed MDF, wood

 

Photo © Wolfgang Woessner/MAK 

Liam Gillick

 

Prototype MAK Production Pavilion (Housed in the Countryside), 2009
Dyed MDF, wood

 

Layered Impasse Screen, 1998 (center)
Anodised aluminium, Plexiglas, wood

 

Photo © Wolfgang Woessner/MAK 

Liam Gillick

 

Prototype MAK Production Pavilion (Housed in the Countryside), 2009
Dyed MDF, wood

 

Layered Impasse Screen, 1998 (left)
Anodised aluminium, Plexiglas, wood

 

Photo © Wolfgang Woessner/MAK 

Liam Gillick

Prototype MAK Production Pavilion (Housed in the Countryside), 2009
Dyed MDF, wood

 

Photo © Wolfgang Woessner/MAK 

Artists in Focus #7 | Executive Two Litre GXL

Liam Gillick
Museum für Angewandte Kunst, Vienna
October 20, 2009 – March 21, 2010
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The highly conceptual oeuvre of Liam Gillick goes beyond the genre and medium-specific boundaries of the visual arts and moves along the interface between theory and practice with his “presentation of discursive forms.” In doing so, he employs a broad spectrum of approaches which brings together sculpture, architecture and design, and he also takes up the themes of performance and writing on art. Gillick subjects spaces to changes both architectural and structural, and designs minimalistic objects, graphical works and wall paintings. The scenarios he develops reflect upon spatial contexts and create platforms of contemplation and reconsideration. In doing so, the artist’s interest is in the system of things belonging to a constructed and planned world, a world that reveals itself in various formations, as well as key positions of economic, political and cultural developments. Gillick evokes new processes with respect to the design of societies, processes that he submits for discussion as models between analysis and fictitious narrative. In his objects and installations, he employs industrially mass-produced materials such as aluminium, MDF and Plexiglas. The modular objects created define locations within spaces or are arranged into space-filling installations; when devising such works, Gillick always takes into consideration the structure and meaning of the exhibition space.

 

The exhibition Executive Two Litre GXL, conceived for the Permanent Collection Contemporary Art, brings together various aspects and relationships in accordance with Gillick’s method. The focus is on the topic of production as the point of departure, with the title—which Gillick employs as a sort of emblem—serving as a reference to the changing conditions of production in the 1970s automotive industry. The interplay between two new installations results in an inner and an outer space. Both were produced at the workshops of the MAK and integrate a Gillick work from the Collection of Contemporary Art—Layered Impasse Screen (1999)—which in turn functions as a retrospective example of hand made work by the artist. The installation Prototype MAK Production Pavilion (Housed in the Countryside) (2009) reflects, in its flexible structure, a range of various space-uses that open up platforms of potential interaction and communication. The systematic combinations of panels, which act as screens or filters, provide a framework for “narratives” and generate a spectrum of free spaces. The imaginary distances created in this way give rise to innovative spatial definitions as norms are played with. This has the effect of challenging a relativized standpoint for an expansion of the discussion, or for the scattering of systematic tendencies.

 

Gillick includes a further architectural level in the overall conception by making minor changes to the space. The installation Contingent Wall Plates (Housed in the City) (2009) draws attention to the room’s preexisting electrical cover plates with extra panels made of colored aluminum, thus bringing seemingly arbitrary geometric shapes together to form an architectural structure. The conception of these artifacts is indicative of Gillick’s interest in the language of forms and in the variability of an aesthetic object’s status between that of applied functionality and that of a visual instrument.

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