»What the map cuts up, the story cuts across.«

Michel de Certeau: Spatial Stories

Blog Review

Do not sit on the art!

Ina Weber’s exhibition at Haus Am Waldsee

  • Perhaps if you wait long enough, a bus will come along? Ina Weber's work Bus Shelter (glue) (2011). (Photo: Lisa Rastl, Courtesy of Galerie Georg Kargl) 1 / 7  Perhaps if you wait long enough, a bus will come along? Ina Weber's work Bus Shelter (glue) (2011). (Photo: Lisa Rastl, Courtesy of Galerie Georg Kargl)
  • When a red bench is not a red bench. Installation view of Fußgängerzone or Pedestrian Zone (2001) at the Haus Am Waldsee. (Photo: Jesse Coburn)&am 2 / 7  When a red bench is not a red bench. Installation view of Fußgängerzone or Pedestrian Zone (2001) at the Haus Am Waldsee. (Photo: Jesse Coburn)&am
  • Have a beer, shoot the breeze - but no bottles in the planters, please. Installation view of Trinkerecke or Drinkers’ Corner (2012) at the Haus Am Waldsee. (Photo: Bernd Borchardt) 3 / 7  Have a beer, shoot the breeze - but no bottles in the planters, please. Installation view of Trinkerecke or Drinkers’ Corner (2012) at the Haus Am Waldsee. (Photo: Bernd Borchardt)
  • Mini modernisms. Installation view at the Haus Am Waldsee. (Photo: Bernd Borchardt) 4 / 7  Mini modernisms. Installation view at the Haus Am Waldsee. (Photo: Bernd Borchardt)
  • You can have any balcony colour as long as it’s red. Hochhaus (rot), 2006. (Photo: Jesse Coburn) 5 / 7  You can have any balcony colour as long as it’s red. Hochhaus (rot), 2006. (Photo: Jesse Coburn)
  • The service isn't great. Mix Café (2011). (Photo: Bernd Borchardt, Courtesy of Ina Weber) 6 / 7  The service isn't great. Mix Café (2011). (Photo: Bernd Borchardt, Courtesy of Ina Weber)
  • Messy personal architectures: Scales (Garbage collectors, Shanghai), (2010); Cycling and transport tree (Garbage collectors, Shanghai) (2010). (Photo: Jesse Coburn) 7 / 7  Messy personal architectures: Scales (Garbage collectors, Shanghai), (2010); Cycling and transport tree (Garbage collectors, Shanghai) (2010). (Photo: Jesse Coburn)

“Do not sit on the art!” is something you don’t hear very often at contemporary art shows, making Ina Weber’s new solo exhibition Architectures, Memories, Utopias at Berlin's Haus Am Waldsee an exception. The confusion of some attendees (at least three on Sunday afternoon) is understandable: Weber makes sly, playful sculptures that mimic the ordinary objects and mundane buildings of the modern city. Consequently the red bench, one of a cluster of objects that make up the show’s first work Fußgängerzone ("Pedestrian Zone"), could easily be mistaken for, well – a red bench. Upon a closer look the artifice becomes apparent, but the object-imitations hew close enough to the originals to provoke our normal reactions to such objects, confounding in their similarity.

Weber is adroit in small acts of deception (a skill she might have picked up from the Martin Kippenberger, who taught her at the Hochschule für bildende Künste in Kassel). In one room of the exhibition, 13 small sculptures of ceramic and concrete depict unassuming buildings in Berlin and beyond: a Chinese restaurant, a department store, a Mietskaserne, a post-war apartment block. Sitting in two rows directly on the floor, at the mercy of wandering toddlers, the diminutive models cut a sharp contrast to the oversized and ungainly sculptures on display elsewhere in the show. These distortions of scale and proportion in Weber’s work are disconcerting. Something is off here, but what exactly, is hard to say.

In this atmosphere of suspicion, the artist’s preoccupation with post-war modernism feels like something of a critique. Hochhaus (rot), a three-meter-tall mock-up of an apartment tower, stands alone on a broad swath of gallery floor, evoking the common sense of alienation associated with modernist housing blocks. And Mix Café, a large cubic sculpture whose miniature walls, windows, and railings collectively suggest an architectural model, alludes to something amiss at the very foundations of the modernist project. Its various building elements, plainly evoking a scruffy, no-frills commercial architecture, don't fit together into any meaningful whole. No discernable floor plan orders the spaces, the windows occupy seemingly arbitrary positions, and, strangest of all, the sole point of entry into the structure is a metal hatch near the roof. As an architectural model, the work is senseless, explaining nothing of the building it purports to represent. That this paradox is cast in the materials and forms of the twentieth-century indicts modernism itself as the source of this senselessness and banality.

The artist shows far more cheer in a series of large-scale watercolors that are displayed on the upper floor of the building. Rendered with extreme care, these paintings depict old rickshaws and bicycles, piled high with boxes and trash bags – all bound together by tangled lattices of twine and wire. These slipshod constructions couldn’t be further from the staid buildings portrayed downstairs, and it seems clear which design ethos impresses the artist more. In the long shadow of modernism, Weber celebrates a private form of architecture – messy but practical, and rooted in the everyday. 

Jesse Coburn, Berlin
 

Architectures, Memories, Utopias
18 January – 1 April, 2013

Haus Am Waldsee
Argentinische Allee 30
D-14163 Berlin

www.hausamwaldsee.de

  • Facebook
  • Tumblr
  • Twitter

PUBLISHED 05 Feb 2013 WHAT Art Review WHERE Berlin Germany WHO Ina Weber AUTHOR

Advertisement

RECENT POSTS

more

Recent Magazines

25 Apr 2016

Magazine No. 43
Athens

  • essay

    From the Bottom and the Top

    Powering Athens through collectivity and informal initiatives by Cristina Ampatzidou

  • photo essay

    Nowhere Now Here

    A photo essay by Yiorgis Yerolymbos

  • Essay

    Back to the Garden

    Athens and opportunities for new urban strategies by Aristide Antonas

  • Interview

    Point Supreme

    An interview by Ellie Stathaki

>

03 Mar 2016

Magazine No. 42
Walk the Line

  • Essay

    The Line Connects

    An essay on drawing and architectural education by Wes Jones

  • Essay

    Drawing Attention

    Phineas Harper sketches out new narrative paths with pencil power

  • Essay

    Gotham

    Elvia Wilk on a city of shadows as architectural fiction

  • Interview

    The (Not So) Fine Line

    A conversation thread between Sophie Lovell and architecture cartoonist Klaus

>

28 Jan 2016

Magazine No. 41
Zvi Hecker

  • essay

    Space Packers

    Zvi Hecker’s career-defining partnership with Eldar Sharon and Alfred Neumann by Rafi Segal

  • Interview

    Essentially I am a Medieval Architect

    An interview with Zvi Hecker by Vladimir Belogolovsky

  • viewpoint

    The Technion Affair

    Breaking and entering in the name of architectural integrity by Zvi Hecker

  • Photo Essay

    Revisiting Yesterday’s Future

    A photo essay by Gili Merin

>

17 Dec 2015

Magazine No. 40
Iceland

  • Viewpoint

    Wish You Were Here

    Arna Mathiesen asks: Refinancing Iceland with tourism – but at what cost?

  • Photo Essay

    Spaces Create Bodies, Bodies Create Space

    An essay by Ólafur Elíasson

  • Focus

    Icelandic Domestic

    Focus on post-independence houses by George Kafka

  • Essay

    The Harp That Sang

    The saga of Reykjavík's Concert Hall by Sophie Lovell & Fiona Shipwright

>

more

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR MAILING LIST Close

Uncube is brandnew and wants to look good.
For best performance please update your browser.
Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer 10 (or higher), Safari, Chrome, Opera

×