Gregor Schneider has been working since the mid-1980s with built and deconstructed spaces, voids and imperfections. At the heart of his artistic work is Haus ur, an ordinary apartment building in Mönchengladbach-Rheydt. Over decades of continuous renovation, the house is being transformed into a place with its own atmospheric density: windows are closed and opened back up, blind doors are installed, walls are put in, lead and other materials are built in and holes are chiselled in the floor (u r 14, Das letzte Loch, 1995). Schneider brought most of the rooms from Haus ur to the German Pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 2001, at which point the artist suddenly made his previous work public, work that until then had happened in private and had been accessible to only a few people and only in specific rooms. He transplanted the ensemble to another location and handed it over to the audience, who over the course of several months were given the opportunity to come away with their own experiences, perceptions and interpretations. After the main presentation in Venice, there were numerous partial presentations of the Totes Haus ur (2001) and Die Familie Schneider (2004), which have been given new points of reference. The eerie aspect of Haus ur, its mysterious resident, is amplified in the many rooms that he inhabits and that are experienced by the audience. Here, concealment and voyeurism are inseparable. Schneider’s photo series of white rooms and white walls shows works and imperfections from 1985 to 1996 and provides insights into his non-places, which represent disorientation and claustrophobia.
Schneider’s WEISSE FOLTER project stands in contrast to Haus ur. In the video film to the project, the camera moves through clean rooms with walls and doors that have smooth surfaces, with no evidence of human life: neither personal objects nor everyday items are to be found. Based on pictures published on the Internet, the narrative describes the situation at the US prison for alleged terrorists in Guantánamo Bay in Cuba. The hidden and uncanny is aroused here in the act of imagining everything that could have happened in these rooms to those absent prisoners: here, Schneider combines sensual, visual and auditory experience. The brutal appeal of his work arises from the unknown and the uncanny, thereby creating a tension that the viewer can no longer escape.
In the exhibition:
Gregor Schneider Fotoserie von weißen Räumen und weißen Wänden, Arbeiten 1985–1996 Photo series on pedestal 72 × 206 × 66,5 cm Archiv Schneider, Rheydt
Gregor Schneider Project film Weiße Folter 16:9, 19:49 min Archiv Schneider, Rheydt
Please select your preference. You can change it at any time.
To get the best possible service, this cookie should not be disabled.
A statistics cookie anonymously collects and reports information about which content is more or less interesting. This allows us to tailor them better to your preferences.