In his first institutional ‘Einzelausstellung’ (german for ‘solo exhibition’) Mario Pfeifer (*1981) presents film and video installations from the years 2008 to 2010 and gives a concentrated overview of his artistic development since graduating from the Städelschule Frankfurt/Main in 2008.

A continuum in Mario Pfeifer’s work are clear formal and thematic references to other artists and works, mostly from the 60’s and 70’s, as well as to fathom a thoroughly composed formal aesthetic, which he expands onto the exhibition architecture. His recent and most extensive work, A FORMAL FILM IN NINE EPISODES, PROLOGUE & EPILOGUE (2010), confronts three of his former produced film and video installations. Three photographic works, each referencing one of the installations and reflecting their research strategies and production conditions, accompany the films.

Pfeifer’s earliest work YET UNTITLED [‘PIECES OF NATURE’] (2008) which was his final art school project, can be interpreted as a performance or film production, following actors to an alleged casting. Also the crew and the producer act in front of the the camera and finally literally mirroring Jeff Wall’s photograph PICTURE FOR WOMEN (1979), a staged production of staged photography.

RECONSIDERING "THE NEW INDUSTRIAL PARK NEAR IRVINE, CALIFORNIA BY LEWIS BALTZ, 1974" (2009), a two-piece b/w 16mm-projection, addresses an in dustrial architecture, which the American artist already portrayed in his art book of the same name. The first projection leads the viewer into an 11-minute unedited camera trip through the interior of a metal workshop. An interview with the former tenant describes the historical industrial context. The second projection shows in parallel the reverse browsing of Baltz’ art book whereby each book page merges into a montage with the ongoing camera trip. Only at the end, when the camera trip ends in front of the building, Pfeifer lets the montage fall apart into two incompatible frames and a comment on the interrelation between film and photography

In the film UNTITLED [‘TWO GUYS’] (2009) Mario Pfeifer follows two young men with the camera through Berlin Kreuzberg and becomes the cinematic observer of their body language and mimic, which finally culminates in an aesthetic-rhythmic Krumping, which seems to blow up the space. Krumping is an expressive street-dance, which first evolved amongst young Americans to release aggression and to escape gang-life. In his film Pfeifer several times comes precariously close to them, breaking through their physical shelter.
On the second floor the three-part projection A FORMAL FILM IN NINE EPISODES, PROLOGUE & EPILOGUE finally unfolds with powerful, strong pictures. The nine episodes portray landscape, architecture, interiors and people in Mumbai and suburbia, each site radiating a mysterious beauty. Eventually the film leaves its documentary perspective and changes into a narrative, as Mario Pfeifer focuses on two protagonists and their story. Beyond its aesthetic power the film critically explores the development of Mumbai and its cultural phenomena. Like Louis Malle with his masterpiece L’INDE FANTÔME (1969), Pfeifer also takes up the position of an outsider, looking at a strange culture, however unable to withstand its fascination.

With the formal title SOLO-EXHIBITION Mario Pfeifer refers to what is actually visible in the exhibition and analyses the existence of singularity, the subject in the discourse.

Mario Pfeifer lives and works in Berlin. He is represented by the gallery KOW Berlin.

The exhibition is supported by:

Hessische Kulturstiftung


In cooperation with:

Infinite Opportunities - Germany + India 2011-2012

Mario Pfeifer / Einzelausstellung

06. November 2011 - 04. December 2011


Extended to December 18, 2011

Opening: Saturday, November 5, 2011, 5 to 8 pm