Opening: 7. March 2014, 19h
Exhibition Duration: 8. March 2014 – 4. April 2014

Andy Coolquitt was born in Texas in 1964 and lives in Austin today. He studied with Paul McCarthy at UCLA and is probably best known for a house in Austin, which since 1994 he has continued to expand since 1994, turning it into a performance/studio and domestic space. He also collects things from the streets. Things that others would throw away or leave behind – marginal objects from public space and non-sites. The artist categorizes the items he has gathered as ‘somebody-mades’ or ‘in-betweens’. ‘Somebody-mades’ are things that somebody produced him- or herself and that might have a function. ‘In-betweens’ are neither something nor nothing and are usually used as raw material for producing legitimate sculptures. But the status of the objects is not really important for the reception. It’s just about a decision an artist has to make at a certain point (a decision he sometimes changes again at a certain point). What is more important has to do with the individuality of these things and the social world in which they live. So these discrete objects are not just ruptured in their very nature, they also call into question their authorship and their own status. This leads to a precarious situation with their afterlife as exhibits even though these objects already had something like a publicness in their previous life.

These things are complicated in their complexity as objects. To make these things even more complicated, Coolquitt triggers a socio-economic reading of his shows by using aspects of contemporary retail store design to preset his collections in museums and galleries. Asked about the aesthetic structures of this strong metaphor, he distinguishes three types: Comme des Garçons (a minimal theater), Urban Outfitters (1950s- artists’ loft style) and the Salvation Army (an all-over). They describe three grades of Denseness and Openness. As in real life these counterparts also compromise each other in Coolquitt’s exhibitions. And they can be read as complication of the discrete and individual object in the aesthetic field as well as the complication of the individual subject in rural and urban society.

For his exhibition at Galerie Krinzinger Andy Coolquitt does not work with a clinically sterile White Cube but with a space laden with history. The center of this space was not originally filled with artworks but with people who frequented a casino for officers. It is thus a habitat and this is what Coolquiit seeks to make the point of departure for the installation of his works in this exhibition.

Already in earlier pieces such as “A nice soft place for meeting people” of 2010, which was mounted as a sort of cushion onto the wall, he tried to create something that offers support to people – not just in a physical but also in a social sense. Drawing less inspiration from neuroses and more from West’s ‘Passtücke’ (Fitted Pieces), his works shown here in the gallery offer an occasion to engage in a discussion on their social and individual functional value. He has installed his works in a “domestic” way, as if they were at home here. Oscillating between function and functionality, they open up a field or stage for the visitors which can experienced as he himself describes it: „[A mise-en-scene] of many discrete objects placed either close enough to suggest a tableaux, or just out of reach to suggest a gap. This space in between is carefully considered as both a place of rest between objects (when you’re looking at it), and a place in which the viewer could occupy (when you’re in it).“

Severin Dünser