NON Gallery, Istanbul: Column of Steam

Column of steam, 100 x 40 x 400 cm, 2011

This exhibition will be at NON Tophane.

NON is pleased to announce Berlin-based artist Johannes Vogl’s first solo show in Istanbul between December 9 – 28, 2011.

Bringing a self-consciously absurd approach to art, nature and social interactions, Vogl’s current show presents new installations the artist produced during his residency program in Istanbul.

Column of Steam” (2011) a sculptural work drawing its inspiration from the omnipresent Turkish practice of tea drinking, casts traditional family structures in a light that is both humorous and precarious. A tower of teapots stacked one upon another up to the ceiling boils without end over a stove plugged into a gas tank on the gallery’s floor. Collected by the artist from various families, these teapots reflect the complexity of family relations in Turkish society; while each pot can draw warmth from those below it, all of them run the risk of toppling should any of the others be disturbed. And, of course, one is tempted to ask whether this is really the most reasonable way to make a large amount of tea.

The artist inherited a passion for invention from his grandfather and many of his works reflect his fascination with making machines. One such invention featured in the exhibition, titled “The Night” (2008), is a slide projector designed by Vogl to project onto the gallery wall a moving image of the moon that completes its cycle every three hours. As with some of Vogl’s previous inventions, the piece represents a curious duplication of natural reality that recalls many of the strange uses to which human creativity is put in the contemporary era. “The Swarm” (2011), a somewhat stranger mechanism that cycles dried fish around a vertical structure and casts their shadows on the wall, approaches the question of nature and technology from yet another perspective.

Another work, the installation “Sleepers” (2011) consists of several videos of dogs sleeping on the streets of Istanbul at night. Instead of duplicating natural reality, this work focuses on the urban, making viewers look more closely at a scene they might very well encounter on their way home from the gallery. Finally, a photographic piece titled “Father and Son” (2008) has damaged candleholders standing in for an actual father and son.

Johannes Vogl is a German artist born in Kaufbeuren in 1981. He has studied at the Academy of Fine Arts Karlsruhe, the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, and the University of the Arts Berlin. His previous group exhibitions include “Under Destruction” (2011), Swiss Institute, New York City; “The Moment Pleasantly Frightful” (2011), Laura Bartlett Gallery, London; “Under Destruction” (2010) Tinguely Museum Basel; “Raw Cases” (2010), Siemens Sanat, Istanbul; “Deceitful Moon” (2009), The Hayward Gallery Project Space, London; “Everything solid… turns into thin air” (2009) MuHKA, Antwerp; “Manifesta 7” (2008), Rovereto and solo exhibitions include “Johannes Vogl” (2011), Kunstverein Hildesheim, Hildesheim; “Johannes Vogl” (2011), Galerie Matthew Bown, Berlin; “Johannes Vogl” (2009), Galerie Martin Janda, Vienna.

The exhibition is kindly supported by the Berlin Senate Cultural Affairs Department, BM Contemporary Art Center and Melih Görgün.

İstiklal Caddesi Mısır Apt. 163/4
Beyoğlu 34430 İstanbul

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