Ephemeral art in dialogue with the collection

23.02.2012 – 29.04.2012

Temporary, momentary, transient. With ‘ephemeral’ works, the exhibition EPHEMERALS initiates a dialogue between contemporary art and historical collection. Light and video art, installations and artistic interventions commentate on and mirror the permanent exhibits with media that are directed at the sensory perception.

In these works specially devised and created for the situation in the Zeppelin Museum, the momentary – and hence the focus on the individual art experience – is mostly already anchored in the structure itself. The static and the dynamic, past and present, traditional and contemporary ways of seeing are thus brought into vibrant tension with each other. The viewer becomes an active part of a vivid discussion on the topics of temporality, impermanence and processuality.

The idea of the exhibition is based on the artistic research work on the subject of ephemerality in the Stuttgart off-space ‘Tresor ─ space for ephemeral art’. Whereas a safe is normally used for storing material valuables – for example for art works while they appreciate in value – the safe room of the former Bahndirektion in Stuttgart provided for almost two years the framework for a programme that felt itself committed to the opposite: creating aesthetic experiences that can only be perceived at a given moment.

Thanks to the focus of the Zeppelin Museum, related themes play a role here: from the volatile gases necessary for the uplift of flying objects through the momentariness of travel experiences to the questions of impermanence in relation to accidents or uses for war. Moreover, the museum is situated directly by Lake Constance ─ in surroundings in which the ephemeral atmospheric conditions have influenced the life of people from time immemorial. For studying the phenomenon of ephemerality at a museum level, the location therefore seems doubly appropriate. As the ‘ephemeral’ works appear piece by piece in the collection rooms over a good two weeks and after a certain run disappear again one after the other, the exhibition is itself also subject to the principle of the ephemeral, thereby setting the Museum in a subtle process of transformation.

Winfried Stürzl
Exhibition Curator

The exhibition will also be backed by a Website that will document its creation and passing: http://ephemerals.webnode.com

DATES on which the exhibition takes place

Work by Kurt Laurenz Theinert

Work of Judith Kaiser/Friederike Stanger and Barbara Karsch-Chaïeb

Work of Judith Kaiser/Friederike Stanger, Barbara Karsch-Chaïeb and Pia Maria Martin


Judith Kaiser and Friederike Stanger
Friederike Stanger (*1981) and Judith Kaiser (*1983) have been working together as artists since their studies at the Stuttgart State Academy of Art and Design. The central theme of their joint work is its temporal limitation. They devise objects that during the time of their exhibitions transform themselves, disintegrate, dissolve and make themselves apparent in different ways, which occurs when something disappears. In this way, the two artists experiment with different materials and seek out mechanisms and processes of disappearance. By destroying a thing something new becomes apparent: no permanent end-product but images that arise on the way to dissolution – intermediate states between being and not being. There is no fixed state – everything exists only for a short time, dissolves, disappears and is a memory. A memory of an ‘original’ existence that is changed by the experience of disappearance itself.

Barbara Karsch-Chaïeb
Barbara Karsch-Chaïeb (*1967) studied at the Freien Hochschule Kunstseminar Metzingen (now University of Applied Sciences Schwaebisch Hall). The focus of her work is installations in which different historical events or conditions as well as the peculiarities of a place, the unknown and fortuitous play a special role. In dealing with the specific location, the ‘collective memory’ associated with it, and also with personal memories, the artist develops her situation-related work. Often the principle of ‘layering’ as well as materials play a role – materials that point to certain countries or events; for instance earth pigments and stone-ground flour. The often abstract looking work triggers a process of perception in the viewer in the border area between intuition and reflection. www.lias-epsilon.de

Pia Maria Martin
Pia Maria Martin (*1974) studied at the Stuttgart State Academy of Art and Design and works in the areas of film and animation. In her subtle short films, she frequently concerns herself with the seemingly trivial and routine. And yet the objects represented develop – partly by employing low-tech methods – an unexpected, quite often bizarre, life of their own. Form and content, the possibilities of the medium and the situations represented conflate into impressive images of the impalpability of transformation and change, being and passing.
www.reinhardhauff.de (siehe: Artists/Pia Maria Martin)

Kurt Laurenz Theinert
The photographer and light artist (*1963) studied at the Stuttgart State Academy of Art and Design and is fascinated by light and movement. In his installations he intervenes in existing situations to a minimal extent. In so doing, the medium of light is not used as illumination, but as a precisely controlled visual event in the room. The individual elements interrelate and demand that the viewer see them as a whole. The focused ‘discerning seeing’ changes to a sweeping ‘area view’. The content and message of Theinert’s work depend on the individual perception of every individual viewer. The installations therefore always appear abstract and free of fixed statements or meanings.

Information on ‘Tresor – space for ephemeral art’

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