Galerie Rüdiger Schöttle is pleased to open 2013 with an exhibition project by the artist Anri Sala.
Galerie Rüdiger Schöttle has been regularly exhibiting Anri Sala's work since 2000. These exhibitions have so far been confined to his film installations. However, the current exhibition is now concentrating on the project "Creating Space Where There Appears to Be None", which has been produced in cooperation with the artist Edi Rama and also encompasses recordings of conversations and a series of drawings by Edi Rama and Anri Sala. Edi Rama, an artist friend of Anri Sala and politician, was actively involved in the initial democracy movement following the collapse of the Communist regime. After a stay in Paris, during which he devoted himself entirely to his career as an artist, he returned to Albania in the Nineties, where he was among other things Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport from 1998 to 2000 and later Mayor of Tirana from 2000 till 2011. Since 2005 he is head of the Socialist Party of Albania (SPA).
"Creating space where there appears to be none between the foreground and the background of a drawing, an in-between dimension: through the rabbit hole we freefall to unfold the compressed space underlying a doodle over the papers of a politician. Duty-freed from the dire reality of their pages, Edi Rama's doodles take on a repetitive form like that of a "reality planner" whose bird's eye vision of a landscape demarcates neighbourhoods as zones of thought through the cartography of colour. The lines curve and curl, never remaining straight for too-great a distance, loosely binding the day-to-day. Over the past 10 years, these automated abstractions have connected the present to the otherwise unintelligible future."
Anri Sala, 2010
"Creating Space Where There Appears to Be None" is based on the project of the same name dating back to 2010 in which Anri Sala was invited by the Berlin About Change, Collection to create an art project in a kind of studio setting. Sala invited his friend and artist Edi Rama and used the studio not only as an exhibition venue but also as the location for recording talks with other guests. Dialogues were recorded between Edi Rama and the art historian Michael Fried, the artist Philippe Parreno, the philosopher Marcus Steinweg and the activist Erion Veliaj.
The present exhibition at Galerie Rüdiger Schöttle can be regarded both as the documentation and continuation of the earlier project. The dialogues of the originally involved people will be played back at listening stations on the ground floor of the gallery. For the opening of the exhibition, another conversation has been recorded and thus continues the series of talks. Edi Rama and Anri Sala will be speaking with Okwui Enwezor, Director of the Haus der Kunst, Munich. The series of "Inversions", result of a cooperation between Edi Rama and Anri Sala, is on show on the first floor of the gallery. The so-called "doodles" are drawn during Edi Rama´s daily activity as a politician, i.e. during meetings or phone calls – it is an open question whether the drawings are the result of rapt attention or of absent-minded day-dreaming. Lines, forms and colours pour over the paper like lava flows and can thus be interpreted as symbolising associative trains of thought. Anri Sala responded to his friend's drawings by fashioning his own reading of them: he extracts the colours, forms and lines to produce new compositions. Proceeding from here, he confronts these newly configured drawings with Edi Rama's by attaching them as "mirror images" to the reverse of the originals: "Inversions" - hinge-mounted against the wall so that front and back can both be viewed.
Corresponding with the opening of the exhibition, a catalogue of Edi Rama´s drawings will be published in which Anri Sala addresses concealed relations and different levels of reality. He juxtaposes Edi Rama's drawings with international, national and local headlines, quotations from Aleksandr Rodchenko's diary Experiments for the Future (1911-1956) as well as his own compositions, thus establishing new associations. The publication will also contain the four talks with Michael Fried, Philippe Parreno, Marcus Steinweg and Erion Veliaj.
Anri Sala was born in Tirana in 1974 and lives and works in Berlin. He has had solo exhibitions among other things at the Museum for Contemporary Art in Miami, the Serpentine Gallery in London, the Centre Pompidou in Paris and the Louisiana Museum for Contemporary Art in Humlebæk, Denmark. In 2012 he participated in dOCUMENTA (13) in Kassel, and in 2013 he will be representing France at the Biennale in Venice. His work "Long Sorrow" will be on show at the exhibition EDM – A Cultural Archaeology at the Haus der Kunst in Munich until 10 February 2013.