Opening: Friday, March 19, 2010 7 pm
Everyone knows the feeling of entering an unknown place for the first time: a public authority, an office, a bar, a school, or a museum. This feeling is often associated with a sense of insecurity that questions one's conformity with the code of behaviour, which is enhanced by the desire not to attract attention in the new surroundings. One unavoidably encounters the "long-established" who let the newcomer sense the fact of their familiarity with the site. An imbalance in power inevitably emerges: it is implicitly expected from the newcomer to accept a subordinate role to the conventions and rituals of the others (thus the authority).
Within the framework of his second solo exhibition at Galerie Andreas Huber, Leopold Kessler deals with the structural conditions of such situations, as well as the possibility of addressing them. Kessler presents the prototype of a mechanism (construction: Thomas Niel), which causes that the door – controlled by a random generator – has variantly to be opened either inwards or outwards. The unpredictability of the mechanism levels the advantage of local knowledge.
Beside this manipulative intervention a new series of photographs (Backpacker, 2010) are presented in the exhibition. Inspired by the familiar image of kids carrying excessively large satchels, the work brings up constructions of an easygoing childhood and adult illusions of freedom.
Leopold Kessler (born in 1976) has presented his work in the past two years in solo exhibitions at Kunsthalle Malmö, Bunker Sztuki in Kraków, Museo CA2M in Madrid, and most recently at Kunsthalle Krems Factory. In May 2010 he will realize a project in public space for Kunsthalle Baselland.