up and down
22.11. – 20.12.2008
Opening: Friday 21.11.2008
“auf und ab” at annex 14 is the first solo exhibition of works by Sebastian Stumpf (*1980, D) to be shown in Switzerland. This artist explores the interplay between the body and a given spatial situation, between staging and authenticity, in video and photographic works. While doing this he also casts a critical eye on present-day media and urbanism.
The video and photographic works are absurdly humorous “one person-one gesture” pieces which trigger a precise observation of the action and the location because of their loop-like presentation or as captured moments. The larger-than-life man? on the decorative tree is disquieting as he exposes the idyll striven for by city authorities as being a somewhat contradictory terrain. The carefully arranged tree disk? also subverts a carefree aesthetic delight because it suggests a nature that is managed and controlled.
Sebastian Stumpf is also interested in the built up city, in concrete urban landscapes. Inspired by the “Le Parkour” movement, which individually appropriates such spaces with playfully physical methods, he has developed scenarios of his own which he records on video or in photographs. And so we see him rolling out from under the automatically closing gates of private underground garages at the very last moment, or taking a run and jump into the jaws of a shark. The images are perfectly staged, full of action and tension, and quickly shift the focus from individual experience to media-immanent topics.
The question of the role of the viewer as voyeur and accomplice unavoidably arises when he or she takes up the angle of vision of the camera. Equally charged is the question of the authenticity of an event when the same action is repeated at functionally different but identical places. In other works by Stumpf, the jump into the cellar hole, for example, which are projected in exactly the same dimensions at the original film location, virtual and real space blend into a single image. This image then takes perception to the limits of its capacity to differentiate, and thus plays with the everyday blurring of the borders between reality and fiction, mise-en-scène and documentation in the media.
We will gladly help you with further information and images. Susanne Friedli, phone 079 248 98 94, or Elisabeth Gerber, phone 079 574 55 36