051009: Aargauer Kunsthaus: Teresa Hubbard & Alexander Birchler – No Room to Answer

Aargauer Kunsthaus: Teresa Hubbard & Alexander Birchler – No Room to Answer Suspense in an infinite loop The artist duo Hubbard/Birchler started working together in the early 90’s. Currently, the Aargauer Kunsthaus is presenting the most extensive exhibit of their works ever shown. The presentation encompasses objects, photographs, and video installations created between 1990 and 2008 by the Irish-born Teresa Hubbard, in Ireland and the Swiss Alexander Birchler. Their work mainly focuses on the creation of illusions and the, for this purpose, essential stylistic methods. These in turn accentuate the movie-like style of their photographs and the qualities of the stills in their extravagantly produced video installations. In most of their videos, the story coalesces with the structure; as for example in “Single Wide” (2002), in which the interaction between the inner- and the outside world interlock in an infinite loop with the plot: a distressed woman crashes her pick-up truck at full speed into the kitchen of a trailer home - again, and again, and again. Her hopeless situation is underlined by the loop from which there is no escape, while the camera shoots the happenings around the home, which is set up like a show-case, practically without a cut; in numerous circles from inside towards the outside, thereby moving the plot forward. Without words, Hubbard/Birchler’s pictures are infatuating storytellers, assisted by everyday noises and music conveying emotions. Out of this play with expectations, suspense develops, which does not discharge until shortly before the climax. What remains is a feeling of ambivalence, as for example in the eight-part photo series “Falling Down” (1996): The moment, in which a book, a pillow, or money falls out of the protagonist’s hands, seems as if it were frozen. The reasons, which lead to these stills, remain hidden and mysterious. The seemingly spontaneous shots turn out to be meticulously arranged scenes, in which the falling objects were suspended with almost invisible threads outside of the image field: suspense in the real sense of the word. With Hubbard/Birchler’s 54-minute“Grand Paris Texas” (2008) their first traditional film, including a conventional beginning and ending, is presented. The documentary focuses on “The Grand”, the ruins of a formerly prosperous movie theatre, which is now a rundown, abandoned building in the middle of the Texan town of Paris. Here, around this theatre of illusions, dreams and disillusionment collide with one another, and over and over the plot focuses on forgetting, estrangement, and emptiness – a sensitive and melancholy film illustrating the not-seeing or no-longer-being-able-to-see pictures. By Sylvia Mutti Aargauer Kunsthaus 5001 Aarau, Aargauerplatz, until 08.11.09 www.aargauerkunsthaus.ch

Aargauer Kunsthaus
5001 Aarau, Aargauerplatz
Tel: +41 62 835 23 30, Fax: +41 62 835 23 29
Öffnungszeiten: Di - So 10:00 - 17:00, Do 10:00 - 20:00

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