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Group show: Ellen Gallagher / Laura Horelli (over)

26 June 2004 until 15 August 2004
  Ellen Gallagher / Laura Horelli
Ellen Gallagher Laura Horelli
  Galerie im Taxispalais

Galerie im Taxispalais
Maria Theresien Straße 45
6020 Innsbruck
Austria (city map)

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tel +43-(0)512-508 3171


Ellen Gallagher's work is complex, characterized by subtle structures which at first sight seem to give her paintings a high degree of minimalist abstraction. Frequently, the large-scale compositions are based on a grid structure whose order the American artist undermines by adding innumerable shapes arranged in series. The formal elements refer to the representations of the eyes and lips of African Americans as we know them from movies, photographs and comic strips. The artist takes these signs out of their original context, giving them new meaning by repetition and serial arrangement in the picture space.

"The signs are more or less fixed," explained Ellen Gallagher in a 2001 interview. "But their spatial proximity is always in flow, as my relationship to the signs changes over time. So they repeat their lines like performers and with each repetition experience themselves differently - which then isn't a repetition."

The "Watery Ecstatic" drawings (from 2001 onward), a selection of which will be on display at the Galerie im Taxispalais, show naturalistic and fantastic shapes which, according to Gallagher, might inhabit a mythical underwater world called Drexciya. Legend has it that Drexciya - which is also the name of a Detroit band - is the home of the women and children who died during the so-called "Middle Passage", being taken from Africa to America aboard slave ships.

Along with the "Watery Ecstatic" drawings and a selection of her paintings, Galerie im Taxispalais will also show Ellen Gallagher's 16mm films "Murmur" (with Edgar Cleijne, 2003), mixed media works bringing together techniques such as drawing, clay and computer animation, in which the artist also worked directly on the film strip by scratching the emulsion layer.

Ellen Gallagher's exhibition at the Galerie im Taxispalais was prepared in close cooperation with the artist, it is her first solo show in Austria.
The artist was born in Providence, Rhode Island, USA, in 1965, she lives and works in New York and Rotterdam.

A catalog will be published with contributions by Kodwo Eshun and Catherine de Zegher.


Laura Horelli's photo, text and video installations focus on communicative forms of relations in public, media and psychological spaces. The artist often links documentary material with her own pictures and information.

In her photo and video installation "You Go Where You're Sent" (2003) she outlines important moments in the life of her grandmother, born in 1916, who talks about her experiences as a diplomat's wife working as a physician at the same time. Horelli uses black-and-white as well as color documentary photographs and sequences from a conversation of the artist and her grandmother. "You Go Where You're Sent" is a portrait of historical interest, it traces the life of a woman living on the interface of the public and private spheres, seeking to reconcile her various roles and expectations about her.

Moreover, Laura Horelli's exhibition at the Galerie im Taxispalais includes an updated version of "Reconfiguration of the International Herald Tribune/03.06.00" (2000), titled "Rekonfiguration von Der Standard/04.06.04" in which the artist approaches the public/private issue from a different angle. On four days around the opening date, Horelli will prepare clippings from the Austrian daily Der Standard for this work, articles and illustrations that she personally considers important. She will then use the material for collages of four new, subjective "newspaper issues" which she juxtaposes with the originals. A variation on the theme of confronting medialized information on the one hand and a very personal view on the other is reflected in a video which forms part of the installation: the video shows the "Tagesschau", the newscasts of the first German public television broadcasting station ARD from the 4th of June in full length leaving away the sound. In its place texts spoken by three women can be heard voice over. A schoolgirl, a woman of thirty and of fifty talk about their run of the day, about events that they have experienced during the day and that have been important to them. These women live, like the artist herself, in Berlin and speak German as a second or third language.

Furthermore, Horelli presents a new project in the big hall in the gallery basement. It deals with the changes urban planning caused in a former industrial area of Berlin where several movie and TV studios, as well as production companies, such as Universal Studios and MTV, set up shop in the past few years. She will condense the results of her research in an installation of documents, pictures and texts in which she brings together a wide variety of narratives and views.

Laura Horelli's exhibition at the Galerie im Taxispalais is the Finnish artist's first solo show in Austria. She
was born in Helsinki in 1976 and lives in Berlin.

Opening: Friday, 25 June 2004, 7 p.m.
The opening will be presided by Dr. Christoph Mader, Cultural Department of the Tyrolean Provincial Government
Introduction to the exhibition by Dr. Silvia Eiblmayr

Press conference: Friday, 25 June, 2004, 10 a.m.
The artists will be present.

Mag. Astrid Gostner, Public Relations
Dr. Silvia Eiblmayr, Director
Mag. Astrid Wege, Deputy Director

Please visit our website:

Ellen Gallagher, "Untitled", 1998, Courtesy Sammlung Goetz
Foto: Wilfried Petzi, München
Laura Horelli, "You Go Where You're Sent", 2003, Videostills,
Courtesy Galerie Barbara Weiss

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