Karl-Heinz Klopf


Landesgalerie Linz


The exhibition extends throughout all the display rooms on the second floor of the Landesgalerie Linz. As the title From / To suggests, in this exhibition the artist is concerned with exploring terrains, both those between spaces, places, periods and people, and those of different formats and media. While installing his various bodies of works, which cover the period from 1992 to 2006, the artist has reacted to specific spatial situations in this classical building. The mixture of drawings, objects, photographs, videos and installations constitutes a coherent display and thus itself represents a new work in situ.

Next to the stairwell, before one enters the actual exhibition, the visitor encounters an information stand conceived by Klopf, facing three sides. It integrates several elements. These include a video by Isabelle Muhr, which shows the artist during a car ride through Linz, while next to this, various publications about the artist’s work, designed by Klopf, hang in a row. Not until you go up the stairs can you read, on the side of the object, the first part of the title of the exhibition, the name of the artist. If you continue to climb the stairs to the exhibition, you go around the object and can see the second part of the title From / To from this more elevated position.

The first section of the exhibition is the passage, which is flanked on one side by an existing showcase. This showcase contains an exactly fitted model building blocks made of polystyrene, into which a selection of drawings from 1995–1999 is integrated. These drawings deal with urban spatial conditions, which correlate with other works in the exhibition. In the axis of the passage, on the end wall, the the animation 60 Sekunden in den Farben meines Hemdes [60 Seconds in the Colours of My Shirt] is projected above head height. At one-second intervals, one hears the quiet countdown of an electronic timer.

In the first large exhibition room, a comprehensive selection from the photographic series Streets (1996–ongoing) is on display. This provides the setting for the two videos Stop Over (1994) and Jet Lag (2001), shown on monitors. Cardboard cartons serve as a platform and seating in the same way that Klopf used them in the installations Wawel (O.K. Centrum für Gegenwartskunst) and By Way of Display (Galerie Grita Insam).

The exhibition then leads to a smaller room in which the computer animation Studio (2000) is presented in a screening box. The back of the box is covered with a white-painted wooden board. This produces a separate area within the exhibition space, in which drawings from the series Studio (1999–2000), which were the basis for the animation, are exhibited.

The next room contains several passage ways to other areas of the gallery. Klopf responded to this situation by taking account of and highlighting visual and spatial connections when setting up his works and a specially designed partition. The series  of Planobjekte (1992–94), with a cluster-like wall installation, is the focus of attention here. Opposite to it, two monitors showing the two videos Platz (1992/94) and Sky Trace (1993) are installed on a wall platform. The artist uses this contrast to draw attention to different perspectives, such as the bird’s-eye view, which he uses repeatedly in his works to express “space.” The partition, which is covered by sheets of corrugated cardboard, serves as a wall for hanging the drawing Ohne Titel [Untitled] (1995). It also runs through a broad passage into the next room. The partition is thus present in two exhibition rooms at once.

In the next room, there are two screens integrated into both sides of this partition. They show the videos Splace (1996) and “Environments” (1998). The theme of the use of cities and digital spaces in these two videos leads to a model-like agglomeration of small polystyrene beads, Play City (1999/2006), and the video Flying High (1999). The two drawings Blob Cities (Graphit verbunden, Grün verbunden) [connected with graphite, connect with green] of 1997 on the 12-metre-long wall form the conclusion of the rooms in the eastern wing of the museum. 

The exhibition is here interrupted by a passage, although there are still views into the adjoining rooms, and continues in the western wing of the museum. This consists of two large exhibition spaces that open into each other through a broad passage. In this transitional space, Klopf has installed two acrylic glass walls at right angles to each other, thus echoing the protruding corner of the wall. With this installation, entitled Open: 24, Klopf responds not only to the existing space, but combines elements from the two projects By Way of Display and Mind the Steps, also on display at the exhibition, to form a new work. The video By Way of Display, about the betel nut phenomenon in Taiwan, is projected onto a free-hanging screen. Opposite, also hanging freely, is a tableau with a summary of the graphic inserts that structure the plot in By Way of Display and provide their own version of the theme. This work is illuminated like a projection screen in exactly the same format and is thus a static counterpart to the projection of the video opposite to it.

In the room adjoining the stairwell, Klopf has installed the project Mind the Steps in the form of five photographic prints and a silk-screen print. In this way, the end of the exhibition is at the same time an opening to its beginning.

(From / To, 2006; computer animations, c-prints, videos, drawings, in-situ installations, mixed media; various dimensions; Landesgalerie Linz, December 14, 2006–January 28, 2007)

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