2018 GREASY DISPLAY
solo show at Knoll Galerie Wien (Vienna/A)
Everyone knows it, nobody needs it – a greasy mobile phone display. It may make one or the other shudder. A shabby, patinated smartphone display irritate us. But there are no smartphones to be seen in the exhibition, but what the average user rather does not leave behind in his browser history: questions about the conditions and consequences of our „firstworld“ digital behavior. How many servers does WhatsApp really need?
How much energy does our slakeless cell phone consumption use? How much lifetime do we spend in virtual reality? This handy little thing in our hands, always ready to enrich our everyday lives, has become the undisputed tech-talisman. And yet, what is left if the battery was not charged once?
For Paul Horn, such considerations are the starting point of his new expansive installation. Two dominant power poles placed at the entrance and end of the gallery occupy and span the space with long cables. It is not a redimensioned version of power poles as we know them from our landscape – Paul Horn’s installation, which is equipped with a water- and power-carrying cable (not noticeable 12 volts), can be used in a private garden.
The sometimes gloomy oil paintings highlight the consequences of the permanent supply of energy: the bent, broken, buckled power poles are facing burnout. Paul Horn’s painting is always expanded into three-dimensionality through the use of everyday pieces or special materials. As a result, they do not rest in themselves, they need and claim space. Likewise, the converted fire extinguishers protude into the exhibition space. Previously useful objects that now dull spit out various sounds at regular intervals: printers, copiers, animal sounds, toilet flushes, telephone rings, hysterical voices.
Paul Horn’s work is always multimedia-oriented and, in addition to the individual genres of the fine arts, also units differing perceptions. The exhibition space is staged by the artist and barely allows a separate viewing of individual works. Paul Horn continues his well-known, critically humorous questioning of partly absurd contemporary phenomena in the exhibition, but without corresponding any categories or giving answers. A productive and creative restlessness pervades his multimedial work.
Text: Ulrike Payerhofer
Supported by the Austrian Cultural Forum Budapest