Clemens Von Wedemeyer: Kolnischer Kunstverein
Wege, Astrid, Artforum International
Michelangelo Antonioni, as film critic Urs Richter once wrote, is the photographer among European directors: Image composition dominates montage and the moment wins out over chronology. Clemens von Wedemeyer's 35-mm film (transferred to video) Silberhohe (Silver Heights), 2003, cites the closing scene of Antonioni's L'Eclisse (1962): Moments of waiting in which the passing of time becomes palpable. The Antonioni citation sets the tone for a cinematic sketch of a concrete-slab housing development in eastern Germany, built between 1979 and 1989, that has lost more than half of its inhabitants since the fall of the Berlin wall--a shrinking city. The camera shows streets emptied of people, focusing on details in brief, almost still shots: a crane amidst debris, crumbling plaster, a bush in the foreground of a wintry cityscape, the interior of a model home in a neighboring single-family development. Von Wedemeyer's camera is fascinated with the surfaces and fragments of a modern social utopia that was built and then discarded, one whose ruined leftovers are not exactly the triumphal confirmation of a now universally installed capitalism. Rather, they mark an empty space.
Almost concurrently with his exhibition at P.S. I in New York, von Wedemeyer presented at the Kolnischer Kunstverein--where he has already been represented in two group exhibitions--a selection of works that approach the relationship between art and cinema from different perspectives. Occupation, 2002, for instance, is a 35-mm film (transferred to video) about the construction of cinema as spectacle. It uses and simultaneously deconstructs filmic strategies such as fade-to-black, dramatic lighting contrasts, and a montage technique that recalls Sergei Eisenstein. Yet all this, as Beatrice …
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Publication information: Article title: Clemens Von Wedemeyer: Kolnischer Kunstverein. Contributors: Wege, Astrid - Author. Magazine title: Artforum International. Volume: 44. Issue: 10 Publication date: Summer 2006. Page number: 367. © 1999 Artforum International Magazine, Inc. COPYRIGHT 2006 Gale Group.
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