BERLIN.- Galerie Guido W. Baudach
is presenting its ninth solo exhibition with works by the Berlin-based artist Thomas Zipp. The show is conceived as a space-specific overall experience that brings together works of different media such as painting, sculpture and performance in an in-situ installation. Titled Response to Transient and Steady State Flickering Stimuli, Zipp subjects different theories and methods of scientific research into the human perceptual apparatus in relation to mental processes to an artistic experimental test.
The gallery becomes a laboratory. Zipp transforms the exhibition space into an organically shaped course through a walk-in room-within-a-room installation, in which the existing walls are overlaid by a continuous, black lacquered boarding. The installative intervention largely dissolves the original spatial structure. The white cube is replaced by an amorphous dark blob. The unfamiliar architecture puts the ability to orient oneself, which is shaped by western design traditions, to the test. The conditioning of self-location in enclosed spaces, fixated on corners and edges, no longer applies. The resulting uncertainty demands a reaction, an adjustment. The audience inevitably becomes an actor, a test subject.
At the same time, the room installation functions as a platform for a series of paintings and sculptures that also work with scientific considerations and techniques regarding the reception and processing of visual stimuli in humans, especially in relation to impulses that are characterised by a flickering of appearance. One of Zipps corresponding testings titled Transient and Steady State Flickering consists of two stools and a table with nine light bulbs embedded in it, arranged as a magic square and flickering aleatorically in unpredictable succession. The small installation leads the life of a primitive AI. It is both poetic gesture and functional, sensory-physiological experimental arrangement and is open to the audience for performative application.
Similarly, a series of paintings with the title Blind Spot Testing Unit, which Zipp has executed in terms of colour combination and graphic pattern of the backgrounds with recourse to corresponding models and findings from neuroscience and cognitive science, such as the Hermann Grid or the Café Wall Illusion, function not only as autonomous artistic creations but also as tools for researching human sensory perception. Other painterly works, some of them large-format, are dedicated to the analysis of our sense of time as well as to the thoroughly multifaceted theories on the fourth spatial dimension and its perception, while a pill-like pedestal sculpture focuses on the medical-therapeutic or pharmaceutical-narcotic context of perception research.
Zipp negotiates the corresponding contexts by creating transformational images, objects and situations that are as concise as they are multi-layered, and which are not only based on a profound examination of the subject matter, but are also developed from a very own vocabulary, which rhizome-like links the most diverse aspects of art and cultural history with the topic; an approach for which the narrative conceptualism of his practice is widely known.
Thomas Zipp, born 1966 in Heppenheim, lives and works in Berlin. Zipp has taken part in numerous important exhibitions at home and abroad, in the last ten years including Au rendezvous des amis, Klassische Moderne im Dialog mit Gegenwartskunst aus der Sammlung Goetz, Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich, 2020; Studio Berlin, Berghain, Berlin, 2020; Counter Culture 25 Years Sammlung Falckenberg Objects and Installations, Deichtorhallen, Hamburg, 2019; Now is The Time, Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg, 2020; A PRIMER OF HIGHER SPACE (The Family of Man revisited), Kunsthalle Giessen, 2018 (solo), Double Lives. Visual artists making music, Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig, Vienna, 2018; White Rabbit (Martin Luther), Overbeck-Gesellschaft, Lübeck, 2017 (solo); Aftermieter, Haus Mödrath - Räume für Kunst, Mödrath, 2017; The Threshold Problem and Some Possible Ways to Solve It, Cc Foundation, Shanghai, 2016 (solo); ICH ist eine EGO-Maschine, ERES-Stiftung, Munich, 2016; Manifesta 11, Zurich, 2016; Avatar & Avatismus. Outside der Avantgarde, Kunsthalle Dusseldorf, 2015; Le mur. Works from the Collection of Antoine de Galbert, La Maison Rouge, Paris, 2014; 11. DakArt - Biennale de lArt Africain Contemporain, Dakar, 2014; Comparative Investigation about the Disposition of hte Width of a Circle, 55. Biennale di Venezia, Venice, 2013 (solo); Das Glück kommt aus dem Nichts. Werke aus der Slg. Wilhelm Otto Nachf., Kunsthalle Nuremberg, 2013; Paintings from the Rubell Family Collection, Fundaciòn Santander, Madrid, 2012; The Worlds most complete Congress of Ritatin Treatments, Kunstraum Innsbruck, 2011 (solo); (WHITE REFORMATIN CO-OP) MENS SANA IN CORPORE SANO, Kunsthalle Fridericianum, Kassel, 2010 (solo); Hareng Saur: Ensor and contemporary art, S.M.A.K., Ghent, 2010; Wystawa, Muzeum Sztuki Nowoczesnej, Warsaw, 2010; If Not In This Period Of Time: Contemporary German Painting 1989 2010, Museo de Arte de São Paulo, 2010. Thomas Zipp has been a professor at Berlins Universität der Künste since 2008. A comprehensive overview of his work to date titled A23 has recently been published by Distanz.