The Hinter Haus des Meeres (HHMD) artist-run project —founded in Vienna and currently based in New York hosted a sequel to 2012’s Humble Habits Domestic Monuments with f-holes, a group show that ran from March 4 to 11 earlier this year.
f-holes is laid out as an environment which seeks to reevaluate relationships between the art object and the sonic object, according to the short press release. It displays works by artists and musicians and those who identify as both or in between. With views of the NYC skyline and photographs taken possibly at sunset the room in the photographs glows pink. Or perhaps this is caused by the red material that lies on the floor under each work, projector, bed, footprint, wind chimes, box of engraved pencils, etc.. Or perhaps it is some kind of edited-in after effect.
What does a work look like that has a sound, or is of a sound? Like the two pencils sharpened into the wall by Min Yoon with words like “MY PENCIL WAS BORROWED FROM MIN YOON” carved into them could be something you could play with a percussion tool, or even an old school tuning fork. And how does what it looks like create atmosphere without sound? There are quiet things, like a small tribal tattoo transfer on a light switch next to a delicate handmade wind chime by Daphne Ahlers made of aluminium and copper wire. ‘Chimes’ (2015), which looks like it has in-built gentle sound, its silver components hanging tunefully down, is on a wall, just inside the edge of the projection space of a video work by Malmö-based artist Sandra Mujinga, waiting but not sounding. The door to the right, presumably leading out of the room is closed shut with a small chain hooked into the wall, also next to the chime, keeping the atmosphere inside.
Other objects by Elisabeth Greinecker and Anna Holtz, and Berlin-based Lars TCF Holdhus and Martin Kohout (both pairs collaborating) also influence the room. Greinecker and Holtz have made a series of sculptures out of components: wax, wire and wicks, occasionally nail polish and dust. The taper is lit and the wax melts away from the wire, leaving just the bare wire component on show and it feels like the beginning or end of a tiny concert, or like an acoustic song with all layers stripped back and some kind of other atmosphere exposed and fetishised somehow. Julian Tromp’s ‘The Strip’ is a soft and worn insert of a shoe. The front half of the insole has a painting in laid over the top of it of the imagined inside of a foot, bones and toes. This art object doesn’t feel like a print imprinted and caused by a physical foot and left redundant, but something that hovers, imagined and proposed.
Other works are by Lonely Boys, Philipp Timischl, who both showed and performed in the latter’s solo show, They were treating me like an object. As if I were some sextoy or shit. I don’t wanna see them again early last year and Beatrix Curran’s ‘Fetish Instrument’ (2016) and Dawn Mok’s video, ‘Drapes’ (2016). They also share the projection space with Mujinga’s aforementioned ‘I Can’t’ (2014). Roland Mathias Gaberz, Kayla Guthrie and Rosa Rendl also show pieces.
Signe Rose and Lilli Thiessen‘s pieces both hang from the ceiling and pertain to a tone of suspension and fetish. The former’s is a kind of hole-y leather lampshade with black exterior and gold interior, and more empty space than physical connections. The latter’s is another wind chime of sorts but this time laced with hooks and loops and plastic sealed see-through bags holding images.
Both works are quiet and sexed chandeliers in an exhibition that seems tied by something that you can’t see or tell when looking. It could be the site of an ex-ritual, a place to come and witness the aftermath of something, still fresh. It feels locked in and heavily curated in the best way possible. There is no doubt that music is coming into art more and more, with artists making it, performing DJ sets at their own openings, including covers of pop songs in videos and thinking about genres to aid metaphor and aesthetic. f-holes finds a different touch. It is infused with work that is made by people, maybe musically minded, who think about pitch, tone and the object that plays.**
Exhibition photos, top right.