Magazine article Artforum International

Kitty Kraus and Martin Ebner: Contemporary Art Centre

Magazine article Artforum International

Kitty Kraus and Martin Ebner: Contemporary Art Centre

Article excerpt


Kitty Kraus and Martin Ebner


Before entering this exhibition of Berlin-based artists Martin Ebner and Kitty Kraus, curated by Audrius Pocius and Nicholas Matranga, one might have spotted a dark object piercing the concrete facade of the Contemporary Art Centre's monolithic modernist building. It was a telescope aimed at the North Star--the only apparently fixed celestial body in our sky. During the day the star is not visible, of course, but Kraus invited the viewer to sit on a wooden park bench placed in the exhibition space beneath a circular spotlight that functioned as a stand-in for the star. The position was a good one from which to watch a pulsing door of light--a vertical rectangle projected onto a side wall. The door, the telescope, the spot of light: Each is a portal to the imaginary. And yet, at a certain point in time and space, the imaginary may become visible, physical. The North Star appears in the sky as day rolls into evening, and, with no other artificial illumination in the exhibition space, the spot on the bench and the door of light became the only sources of visibility guiding the viewer toward the telescope to see the emerging star.

A viewer too impatient to wait for the North Star to appear might have chosen to walk around under Ebner's Two Large Metal Tables, 2016, seemingly weightless structures resembling architectural models made of wire, legs thin as drawn lines, with flat, green roofs that cast flickering shadows on the ground and sheltered the viewer in an imaginary urban landscape. This landscape was framed by minimal, linear paintings from Ebner's series "Desire to Consume," 2016, depicting single-line contours of city walls with architectural elements, objects, and graffiti. Together with the architectural structures, these paintings served to sketch out a possible site for action, which the viewer had to fill with her own imagination.

The oscillation between the imaginary and the visible also radiated from the collaborative piece (Untitled, 2016) Kraus and Ebner had installed in the open atrium at the heart of the CAC. Here, a sprinkler spat water onto the glass walls all around the atrium. …

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