Follow Fluxus 2018
Assaf Gruber / The Conspicuous Parts
30. August 2018 to 26. May 2019
Opening / Thursday, 30th of August 2018 / 6pm
Assaf Gruber is the eleventh scholar recipient of the Follow Fluxus - After Fluxus scholarship, called by the state capital of Wiesbaden and the Nassauischer Kunstverein. Gruber’s work investigates how individual ideologies are shaped by personal biographies and how these affect social relationships within private and public spheres. The film entitled The Conspicuous Parts (2018) tells a fictional story about two women working in the Natural History Museum of Berlin and examines political aspects of the representation of objects inside the museum corridors. A German taxidermist, accidentally encounters a British author who is researching facts for her new novel about an obscure expedition to a Cuban coral reef in GDR times, in the museums archive. During their chance encounter, the two women start a rather unusual communication.
Gruber’s narrative expressiveness of objects is ventured with sculptures and photographic works in the second exhibition space: The photographs display Caribbean corals (that are held in the museum storage since the 1967 expedition) that the artist planted deliberately inside numerous dioramas that were built in the Natural History Museum in the 1950s (and that are inaccessible to public viewing for decades).
Thus, the photographs reinforce the questions raised by the film: Which decisions lead to something being shown in a cultural institution? And what is the connection between these decisions at the relevant time? And what might have been the motives for expeditions such as the one to Cuba in the 1960s?
The sculptures that are spread over the exhibition space tackle with humour these mysteries from another angle: They playfully adapt abstract natural forms: The actual functions of the wooden recorders, which are reminiscent of snakes, swans or plants, or of the plastic bowling balls deformed into huge eggs have been removed by the artist. In their new forms they fail to fulfil their symbolic meaning, the transmission of sound and melody, hence information in the case of the recorders – or a violent game tool, hence ammunition, in the case of the balls. Like his films, they create a multi-layered space of meaning.
The filmmaker and sculptor Assaf Gruber (*1980, Jerusalem) lives and works in Berlin. He studied fine arts at the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris and at the Higher Institute of Fine Arts (HISK) in Ghent. In 2018 he received awards and scholarships, including The Camargo Foundation Award FIDLAb Marseille, the Publication Scholarship of the Berlin Senate and the Kunstfond Bonn among others. His work has been shown at film festivals including the Berlinale and in a variety of group and solo exhibitions, most recently, at the Ujazdowski Castle Center for Contemporary Art in Warsaw and the Berlinische Galerie.
Deutsch / English
Nassauischer Kunstverein Wiesbaden
Wilhelmstraße 15, 65185 Wiesbaden
Tel +49 (0)611 301136
Tue, Wed, Fri 2–6 pm, Thur 2-8 pm, Sat, Sun, 11 am–6 pm