LINUS RIEPLER – in circles




in circles

Opening: January 25, 2024, 7pm

Duration: January 26 – March 13, 2024

In Linus Riepler’s exhibition, home appears as a highly unstable place. Among other things, the artist produced a stop-motion animation in which the apartment of a tousled clay character literally transforms into a carousel. In the two-minute clip, part of a larger spatial installation, everyday items such as a blanket, espresso maker, scooter, or cantilever chair gradually develop a life of their own. The household items eventually condense temporarily into a rotating tangle, briefly forming the protagonist’s head into the shape of a stone block. A modern nightmare. Faced with the continual entropy of things to be tamed, the strive of everyday repetitions becomes an image. “A face that toils so close to stones is already stone itself!” Albert Camus once wrote about the ancient mythic figure Sisyphus. During production, the artist read Camus’ essay on the “absurd hero” of ancient mythology, alongside Kafka’s “The Castle”, which became part of the material. The installation translates the video narrative into a real, walkable space. The carousel cuts into the architecture, its seats referencing the tangle of household goods. The corridor alludes to Kafka’s castle and simultaneously to an experienced consumerist labyrinth of an underground shopping street. A telephone receiver inside the work finally acoustically connects the viewers to the world of Sisyphus through

Homer’s epic.

Riepler himself names the “intricacy of space, its perception, and the question of how a narrative can be inscribed into a spatial setting” as the central focus of his artistic work. Because the art of storyteling has already produced a rich media history, references to film, theatre, theatre architecture, and various forms of display (such as showcases or dioramas in small vitrines) resonate more or less disctinctly in Riepler’s art. The spaces function both as a frame and as part of the artist’s narratives. Riepler makes his working process comprehensible, for instance, when presenting an automat sculpture in the exhibition space, which is both an independent work and a reference for the larger installation. Elements of the environment, stage, set, and model converge into a place of artistic experience for the audience. This highlights the manifold encoded nature of architecture and its increasing hybridisation in a

casual manner. In the early nineties, Californian architecture theorist Anthony Vidler worked on delineating the modern root of discomfort in architecture in his architectural history of the uncanny. According to Vidler, architecture has been closely linked with the concept of the uncanny since the late 18th century: “At one level, the house has provided a site for endless representations of haunting, doubling, dismembering, and other terrors in literature and art. At another level, the labyrinthine spaces of the modern city have been construed as the sources of modern anxiety, from revolution and epidemic to phobia and alienation […].” The transition between homely and uncanny has remained fluid to this day and has been very present in recent times. The experience of this alienation forms a part of modern urban existence. In Linus Riepler’s works, the latent unease finds a vivid form. Kito Nedo