Artist: Michael Riedel
Exhibition title: Exhibitions Seen and Not Seen [Invitations 1997-2015]
Venue: Kunstverein Braunschweig, Braunschweig, Germany
Date: November 24, 2015 – January 25, 2016
Photography: Stefan Stark, images copyright and courtesy of the artists and Kunstverein Braunschweig
Since his studies at the Frankfurt Städelschule, Michael Riedel has designed invitations and posters to announce his exhibitions, performances, and other events. The invitation as such has always been an integral part of his artistic strategy, and it is his means to enter the history of art. The invitation as oeuvre and, at the same time, as gesture, opens up a broad sphere from poster to card, and from song all the way to a transcribed telephone conversation. Each one of these invitations represents an art event – irrespective whether one has seen it or not. 80 different postcards with installation and location photography serve as counterparts to the announcements and exemplify the advertised events.
In his solo-show at the Kunstverein Braunschweig, all of Michael Riedel’s invitations that he has designed between 1997 and today will be shown and linked to their associated contents for the first time. Resulting from his motto “record – label – playback“, the exhibition demonstrates just how dense and interlaced the work of the artist is. While refusing a process of creation in the traditional sense, Michael Riedel decides to siphon off all forms of communication, which the wide field of the arts incessantly puts forth, and uses them for his creative ends. In this fashion, he creates works –at times very humorously–which operate within the system of art and, at the same time, upon which he comments by adopting an external perspective.
By concentrating on the invitation as such, Michael Riedel’s presentation acquires a special focus and, simultaneously, allows for extensive insight into Riedel’s multifaceted artistic output. The invitation functions as a stand-alone work with an extraordinary communicative scope; it can represent either the point of departure or the centre of his exhibition.
At the Kunstverein Braunschweig, the artist makes the exhibition space itself his subject and interfuses the entire architecture of the Villa Salve Hospes with his notion of an exhibition- display. By reproducing each aperture –windows as well as doors– in terms of white boards and positioning them in the respective rooms, he points to the interruptions of the walls in an exhibition space where art could be hung. The boards partially positioned on the walls and, at times, in front of the windows, seal off the room at many places, suggesting a white cube, which paradoxically is immediately questioned because of the presence and recognition of the exhibition-display as such. Riedel’s works are placed exclusively on those walls and, what is more, leave the space empty for diverse sound-recordings and videos, which demonstrate samples of different events.
Michael Riedel (*1972 in Rüsselsheim) lives and works in Frankfurt am Main. He studied at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, the Städelschule in Frankfurt, and the École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris. In 2010 he had solo-shows at the Kunstverein Hamburg and in 2012 at the Schirn Kunsthalle in Frankfurt, followed by a three-part presentation at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris between 2013 and 2015. Riedel participated in various group-shows, among others at the Secession in Vienna (2003), the MMK, Museum of Modern Art in Frankfurt (2007), and “Made in Germany 2” in Hannover (2012).