press release

Site Gallery has commissioned two new works, a video and a sound installation, for this first major one person exhibition from the UK-based German artist Monika Oechsler.

The new video installation "Schauspiel" is the culmination of her research residency at the Akademie Schloss Solitude in Stuttgart in 2002. The concept "Schauspiel" or drama, concerns itself with thoughts on the "magic" or "empty space" of the theatre. The installation positions the viewer in the centre of the production process which takes place prior to the actual performance of the a play. Thus, the absence of familiar dramatic content draws attention to the "space of performance" and to the processes involved in the staging of the experience of affect. "Schauspiel" illuminates the complex production mechanism of the theatre and reveals the synchronised choreography of stage workers and stage machinery as a performance in itself. This is the first time Oechsler has worked without performers and where the subject of the work is the semi-mechanical apparatus behind the staging of a representational reality. The work draws parallels to topics like "man against machine" treated in the film "Metropolis" by Fritz Lang and to films of an early documentary approach, like "The Man with a Movie Camera" by Dziga Vertov. Merging filmic and documentary styles Oechsler's work "Schauspiel" expands the notion of performativity in the context of real life situations.

"Solar Plexus", a new sound installation designed for gallery two creates an audio-spatial experience of parallel fictional realities as played out in the minds of several voice protagonists. The installation effects a distortion of spatial perception and orientation through an artificial light source in an otherwise completely darkened room. The real-time recorded vocal performance gives precedence to the choreography of spoken words and immerses the viewer in an auditory simulation of narrative fragmentation and disorganisation. This new work is Oechsler's first sound installation extending her interest in the staging of the "affect of reality" and narrative content beyond visual representation.


only in german

Monika Oechsler - Schauspiel