Galerie Guido W. Baudach opens an exhibition of works by Markus Selg

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Galerie Guido W. Baudach opens an exhibition of works by Markus Selg
Markus Selg, HOME 🧡 (Twin Zone), 2024, sublimation on fabric, 270 x 375 cm. Courtesy the artist & Galerie Guido W. Baudach, Berlin © Markus Selg.



BERLIN.- Gallery spaces are generally neutral in their appearance and create a zone of calm around their exhibits. Galerie Guido W. Baudach is also such a white cube, but in Markus Selg's exhibition TWIN ZONE, the ban mile around the works dissolves, as does the closed box of the exhibition space itself.

At first glance, TWIN ZONE looks like a traditional exhibition of large-format computer prints and sculptures. However, thanks to the augmented reality app that Markus Selg developed for this project, the virtual twins of these sculptures and paintings as well as earlier works that are not physically present, such as Teerhof from 1999, can also be experienced in the gallery. They appear unexpectedly on the audience's smartphone displays and float gently through the room or appear as additional exhibits on the walls.

The presence of digital artworks in galleries or urban spaces is nothing unusual today, but the concept of the TWIN ZONE exhibition sets a different accent. It brings tangible works of art into a direct relationship with their virtual derivatives and creates a porous space that connects the two levels of reality. As a visitor to the gallery, you can choose which path of manifestation of a work you would like to follow. But Markus Selg has not only created his individual works in two forms of existence, he has also scanned the gallery spaces and transformed them into a 3D model that creates a virtual extension of the gallery on site. Suddenly, you look through virtual openings and windows and a cityscape under a glowing red sky appears in the middle of the actual rooms.

The AR app virtualizes the exhibition space and integrates it on site into a meta-space that makes it radically tangible what it is like when everything is just a surface. This blending and mixing of physical and virtual reality deterritorializes the rooms and turns the gallery into a sophisticated daydream of art. In this TWIN ZONE, visitors move around and see the rest of the audience on their screens in the midst of virtual and real works, as if the people currently present in the exhibition were also further exhibits in this enriched and permeable world of art.

Markus Selg develops his works with the help of digital technologies. Instead of brushes and palettes, he uses Photoshop for his paintings. Data are Selg's pigments and characterize the aesthetics of his virtual and physical objects. In recent years, he has increasingly used 3D software and AI to create his worlds in galleries and museums, on theater stages or entirely in virtual space.

Nowadays, it is less and less digital photographs and more and more often 3D scans that Selg takes with his smartphone in everyday life or in museums and adds to his variable pool of digital 3D elements and graphic textures from which his works are created. For example, the 3D scan of a tomb sculpture was incorporated into Selg's large-format paintings MISSING TWIN I and II, while the scan of the Uta statue from Naumburg Cathedral became part of the drapery of the gathered mantle of the polypropylene sculpture FRACTAL FLORISHING, which also exists in a slightly modified form as a digital 3D sculpture, respectively a NFT.

The various scans wander through Selg's practice and the example of the metamorphosis of the "shots" of Uta von Naumburg shows that his works are not digital copies of physical pieces, but rather extract specific details from them, place them in new contexts and thus form an autonomous work. Selg has been collecting the diverse elements of his works for years. Even a simple smartphone transforms objects and environments into scans, codes, data and digital surfaces that can be shared and processed immediately. Metaphorically speaking, these scans are used to skin the world. From now on, it can be placed on any surface of a CGI object or become the surface of physical objects. Technically, this process seems like a transplant. And of course the question arises as to what is under this surface?

On closer inspection, the "digital skins" that Selg collects as 3D scans and covers his figures and objects with seem like a contemporary form of frottage. They show the translucency of sculptural objects in a two-dimensional medium. It is often biological structures such as fractal patterns of leaves or the structure of the plaster of a house façade removed by means of a scan that flow into the artist's design processes as material. As with the rubbing of physical objects on paper or fabric, 3D scans also create graphic textures that depict a three-dimensional reality in two dimensions, i.e. as a surface that detaches itself from the object and can cover other bodies or become part of larger compositions. Max Ernst once worked according to this principle and saw his frottages of leaves, fruit bodies or pieces of wood as a partial liberation from his own creator ego and a starting point for creative processes.

The scans of biological and technological surfaces recur in Selg's physical sculptures, computer prints and installations as well as in the virtual objects of his NFTs or AR and VR experiences. His work therefore oscillates between "light" and "heavy" artworks - "light", according to art scientist Noam Gal, in the sense of disembodied and immaterial, apart from the carrier media of the data, and "heavy" in the sense of processed materials in the physical world. In this sense, the TWIN ZONE exhibition is a hybrid of "heavy" and "light" objects. It gives a foretaste of a future world in which digital objects and beings enrich our reality in the same way that the scent of a flower has always enriched the evening air.


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The above text is an abridged version of the essay Floating Exhibition. On the TWIN ZONE by Markus Selg by Thomas Oberender. The full text, including the German original, can be found on our website.


Markus Selg, born in 1974 in Singen, is a Berlin-based multimedia artist who creates exhibitions, theater performances, operas as well as virtual and augmented reality experiences. He condenses image, sculpture, performance, music and film into immersive experience spaces, creating a new dynamic between archaic myths and digital technologies. Since 2015, he has been working closely with theater director Susanne Kennedy, with whom he is staging THE WORK at the Berlin Volksbühne at the end of May, a retrospective in the form of a theater play that complements the exhibition in the gallery - and vice versa. TWIN ZONE is Markus Selg's eighth solo exhibition at Galerie Guido W. Baudach and takes place as part of Gallery Weekend Berlin.










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