Viola Relle & Raphael Weilguni at Markus Lüttgen

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Artists: Viola Relle & Raphael Weilguni

Exhibition title: RR fear

Venue: Markus Lüttgen, Cologne, Germany

Date: February 16 – April 1, 2017

Photography: all images copyright and courtesy of the artists and Markus Lüttgen, Cologne

For Viola Relles (b. 1992) and Raphael Weilguni’s (b. 1989) first solo show at Markus Lüttgen, the artist duo focusses on the idea of an iconic hero.

The starting material for this central subject as well as for the process of creation, is always the couples’ artistic collaboration itself. The basis of this is mostly a personal connection or a common socio – political awareness which results by a process from the artist’s immediate relation to their working environment or the people surrounding them.

Born on the streets of New York, the concept of the „HERO“ – series focusses on the collaborative creation of a third identity which results out of the working process with clay. This third identity not only originates from the shared processing of the material or the dialog with pedestrians, but is additionally based on the idea of a possible identification by the viewer himself. The exhibited version of the „HERO“ – the largest and most advanced yet – embodies this idea in many ways. Based on a pedestal with steps and reaching out forward his voluminous arms as a kind of safeguard, his massive shape reveals a view of his inside. Equally his his hollow arm tubes offer a similar blank space for the viewers identification. A cavity set up for the possibility of physical insertion which like Frans West’s „Fitting Pieces“ or the works of Franz Erhard Walther, does not deny it’s use.

Within the colored, Nickel glazed elements, the figure of the hero also seems to address the potential of both intellectual inclusion and reflection. These invite the viewer through their pictorial as well as sculptural openings to be part of the mythically icon that is charged with notions of power and defense. Additionally, the figure questions the possibility of a support function by the layered ways of the beholder’s participation anew while simultaneously leaving a clear definition of hold and security open.

At the same time, each sculptural series presents itself as the result of unpredictable fractures by the burning process. That assigns them the status of a cultural artefact through their functional incapacity. Visual surreal connotations that are generated from the unfinished status of the ceramic and porcelain sculptures or the exhibited paintings therefore appear to uncover the unconscious presence of hidden common images.

Relle and Weilguni study at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich. Weilguni under Jean-Marc Bustamante; Relle studied under Norbert Prangenberg as well as Kerstin Brätsch and is currently working in the class of Markus Karstieß.

-Philipp Fernandes do Brito

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Viola Relle & Raphael Weilguni, RR fear, 2017, exhibition view, Markus Lüttgen

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Viola Relle & Raphael Weilguni, RR fear, 2017, exhibition view, Markus Lüttgen

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Viola Relle & Raphael Weilguni, RR fear, 2017, exhibition view, Markus Lüttgen

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Viola Relle & Raphael Weilguni, RR fear, 2017, exhibition view, Markus Lüttgen

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Viola Relle & Raphael Weilguni, RR fear, 2017, exhibition view, Markus Lüttgen

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Viola Relle & Raphael Weilguni, Europa Schläger, 2016, 35.5 x 35 x 60 cm (13 1/2″ x 13 3/4″ x 23 5/8″)

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Viola Relle & Raphael Weilguni, RR fear, 2017, exhibition view, Markus Lüttgen

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Viola Relle & Raphael Weilguni, RR fear, 2017, exhibition view, Markus Lüttgen

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Viola Relle & Raphael Weilguni, RR fear, 2017, exhibition view, Markus Lüttgen

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Viola Relle & Raphael Weilguni, RR fear, 2017, exhibition view, Markus Lüttgen

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Viola Relle & Raphael Weilguni, RR fear, 2017, exhibition view, Markus Lüttgen

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Viola Relle & Raphael Weilguni, RR fear, 2017, exhibition view, Markus Lüttgen

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Viola Relle & Raphael Weilguni, untitled, 2017, Acrylic on canvas, 34 x 27 cm (13 3/8″ x 10 5/8″); untitled, 2017, Acrylic on linen, 34 x 27 cm (13 3/8″ x 10 5/8″)

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Viola Relle & Raphael Weilguni, untitled, 2017, Acrylic on canvas, 34 x 27 cm (13 3/8″ x 10 5/8″); untitled, 2017, Acrylic on canvas, 34 x 27 cm (13 3/8″ x 10 5/8″)

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Viola Relle & Raphael Weilguni, Hero 3/x, 2016-2017, Glazed ceramic, graphite, chinese glas, 180 x 87 x 152 cm (70 7/8″ x 34 1/4″ x 59 7/8″)

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Viola Relle & Raphael Weilguni, Stützhero, 2017, Glazed ceramic, Pakistan leaf gold. graphite, 38 x 75 x 67 cm (14 1/2″ x 29 1/2″ x 26 3/8″)

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Viola Relle & Raphael Weilguni, Face Church, 2017, Glazed ceramic, glass, 56 x 30 x 28 cm (22″ x 11 3/4″ x 11″)

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Viola Relle & Raphael Weilguni, RR Fear, 2016, Glazed ceramic, epoxy, 31 x 63 x 72 cm (12 1/4″ x 24 3/4″ x 28 3/8″)

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Viola Relle & Raphael Weilguni, Selber (Target), 2017, Glazed porcelain and ceramic, 60 x 38 x 43 cm (23 5/8″ x 14 1/2″ x 16 7/8″)

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Viola Relle & Raphael Weilguni, Selber (Target), 2017, Glazed porcelain and ceramic, 60 x 38 x 43 cm (23 5/8″ x 14 1/2″ x 16 7/8″)

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Viola Relle & Raphael Weilguni, not yet titled, 2017, Glazed ceramic, 85 x 55 x 34 cm (33 1/2″ x 21 5/8″ x 13 3/8″)

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Viola Relle & Raphael Weilguni, Screen, 2017, Glazed ceramic, 72 x 48 x 48 cm (28 3/8″ x 18 7/8″ x 18 7/8″)

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Viola Relle & Raphael Weilguni, Roadtrip (Zirkus), 2017, Glazed ceramic, 35.5 x 35 x 60 cm (13 1/2″ x 13 3/4″ x 23 5/8″)

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Viola Relle & Raphael Weilguni, Besucher, 2017, Glazed ceramic, 15 x 18 x 11.5 cm (5 7/8″ x 7 1/8″ x 4 1/2″)

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