Indistinct Chatter at LAYR

Artists: Monika Baer, William Leavitt, Matt Mullican, Lili Reynaud-Dewar, Lise Soskolne, Masha Tupitsyn, Robin Waart, Yong Xiang Li

Exhibition title: Indistinct Chatter

Curated by: Pia-Marie Remmers

Venue: LAYR, Vienna, Austria

Date: March 5 – April 10, 2021

Photography: all images copyright and courtesy of the artists and LAYR, Vienna

The gallery looks like the lobby of a movie theater, where cardboard stand-up dis-plays, film posters, flyers, and other ephemera usually advertise the current program. On them, we see movie heroes and heroines, locations, sets, and glimpses of the plots. Film stills (or what we think of as such, since they are usually heavily staged photographs that do not correspond to the actual images of the film) and narrative fragments exert their fascination and promise to reveal themselves in their contexts behind the curtain. Quiet, indistinct chatter and muffled music can be heard from inside what is presumably a movie theater. But the promise of narrative contextualization and guided imagination is not fulfilled here. Film, in the sense of moving images, is categorically excluded.

But how do we perceive the sensation and pull of the cinematic when the moving image is absent? When one is omitted, the sense for the other is naturally sharpened. Thus, temporality and movement are largely suspended, while what are seemingly film’s byproducts come to the fore. In a nod to Louise Lawler’s A Movie Will Be Shown Without the Picture (1979), in which the public was invited to experience a full-length feature film in an ordinary movie theater without its visual component, the spectators here become the sole element embodying temporality, movement, and hence performativity. Mental projections fueled by sketched props, storyboards, and dialogue become possible primarily in the moment of suggestion and come together to form an “imaginary world,” as Matt Mullican calls it, in which the boundaries between reality and fiction are productively blurred.

The myth of cinema and film is countered, at this exhibition, with an artificial mystification that critically engages film’s structural conditionalities. According to Roland Barthes, the filmic is not the same thing as film and is generally not consciously perceived in the latter’s varied situations and changing movements. Since the works themselves are not film but more or less concretely refer to the filmic, they assume a reflexive relationship to it. Cinematic techniques and image-making tools such as the male gaze of the camera, the stigmatizing of protagonists, locations, and props, the politics of the dialogues, but also the authority of the screenwriter and director are extracted, reflected on, and framed in turn within alternative but semiotically narrative media.

(Translation: James Gussen)





 

Indistinct Chatter, 2021, Installation view, LAYR, Vienna, Photo: kunst-dokumentation.com, Courtesy of the artists and LAYR, Vienna

(left) Monika Baer, Ohne Titel, 1990, Oil on canvas, 65 x 85 cm (right) Monika Baer, Ohne Titel (Parkhaus), 1990, Oil on canvas, 65 x 85 cm, Photo: kunst-dokumentation.com, Courtesy of the artist, Galerie Barbara Weiss, Berlin and LAYR, Vienna

Monika Baer, Ohne Titel, 1990, Oil on canvas, 65 x 85 cm, Photo: kunst-dokumentation.com, Courtesy of the artist, Galerie Barbara Weiss, Berlin and LAYR, Vienna

Monika Baer, Ohne Titel (Parkhaus), 1990, Oil on canvas, 65 x 85 cm, Photo: kunst-dokumentation.com, Courtesy of the artist, Galerie Barbara Weiss, Berlin and LAYR, Vienna

Yong Xiang Li, White portfolio with zebra lining (neighbourhood watch), 2021, Pencil on paper, cardboard, chelsea bookcloth, zebra print paper, floral synthetic ribbon, acetate, paper clip, 34 x 38 cm, Photo: kunst-dokumentation.com, Courtesy of the artist and LAYR, Vienna

Yong Xiang Li, White portfolio with zebra lining (neighbourhood watch), 2021, Pencil on paper, cardboard, chelsea bookcloth, zebra print paper, floral synthetic ribbon, acetate, paper clip, 34 x 38 cm, Photo: kunst-dokumentation.com, Courtesy of the artist and LAYR, Vienna

Lili Reynaud-Dewar, Beyond the Land of Minimal Possessions (Monument to Joana Castilhos), 2018, glass, silk, lacquered metal, 193 x 75 cm, Photo: kunst-dokumentation.com, Courtesy of the artist and LAYR, Vienna

Masha Tupitsyn, Love Sounds, 2015, Video, 24:00:00, Photo: kunst-dokumentation.com, Courtesy of the artist and LAYR, Vienna

Indistinct Chatter, 2021, Installation view, LAYR, Vienna, Photo: kunst-dokumentation.com Courtesy of the artists and LAYR, Vienna

Yong Xiang Li, Study for Doors, 2020, Pencil and emulsion paint on paper, 66.6 x 50 cm, Photo: kunst-dokumentation.com, Courtesy of the artist and LAYR, Vienna

Matt Mullican, Untitled (Details from Fictional Reality), 2001, Collage, comic strip on paper, 15 parts, framed, each 32.8 x 24 x 3 cm, Photo: kunst-dokumentation.com, Courtesy of the artist, Mai 36 Galerie, Zurich and LAYR, Vienna

Matt Mullican, Untitled (Details from Fictional Reality), 2001, Collage, comic strip on paper, 15 parts, framed, each 32.8 x 24 x 3 cm (detail shot), Photo: kunst-dokumentation.com, Courtesy of the artist, Mai 36 Galerie, Zurich and LAYR, Vienna

Matt Mullican, Untitled (Details from Fictional Reality), 2001, Collage, comic strip on paper, 15 parts, framed, each 32.8 x 24 x 3 cm (detail shot), Photo: kunst-dokumentation.com, Courtesy of the artist, Mai 36 Galerie, Zurich and LAYR, Vienna

Matt Mullican, Untitled (Birth to Death List), 2020, Print on paper, Photo: kunst-dokumentation.com, Courtesy of the artist

Matt Mullican, Untitled (Birth to Death List), 2020, Print on paper (detail shot), Photo: kunst-dokumentation.com, Courtesy of the artist

Indistinct Chatter, 2021, Installation view, LAYR, Vienna, Photo: kunst-dokumentation.com, Courtesy of the artist and LAYR, Vienna

Robin Waart, Would you…, 2012, Installation on card rack, set of 16 postcards of movie moments inviting you to go out, approx. 170 x 27 cm (install dimensions), 14.8 x 10.5 cm (each post card), Photo: kunst-dokumentation.com, Courtesy of the artist and LAYR, Vienna

Lise Soskolne, Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1998/2020, oil on canvas, 152,4 x 243,8 cm, Photo: kunst-dokumentation.com, Courtesy of the artist and LAYR, Vienna

(left) William Leavitt, Memory Blips, 2018, Pastel on paper, 51 x 106 cm (right) William Leavitt, Toaster, 2015, Acid-free marker pens on Arches 100% rag cover paper, 28 x 76 cm, Photo: kunst-dokumentation.com, Courtesy of the artist, galerie frank elbaz, Paris and LAYR, Vienna

William Leavitt, Memory Blips, 2018, Pastel on paper, 51 x 106 cm, Photo: kunst-dokumentation.com, Courtesy of the artist, galerie frank elbaz, Paris and LAYR, Vienna

William Leavitt, Toaster, 2015, Acid-free marker pens on Arches 100% rag cover paper, 28 x 76 cm, Photo: kunst-dokumentation.com, Courtesy of the artist, galerie frank elbaz, Paris and LAYR, Vienna