The group exhibition "FEAT TO BOOT" at Kunstraum Ortloff in Leipzig presents four positions of upcoming artists which – in their collectivity – explore forms of movement and surveillance as well as how these apply to group behavior.
Talking of movement in this context one has to clarify that we think of it not only as a phase of motion with a clear starting and ending point, trigger and stabilization but also as a synonym for change, development, and growth.
Even while excavating mechanisms that construct a reality of living together rather than parallel to each other, the displayed works themselves do not claim a right to comment on the quality of such living. More so they just subtly point towards societal patterns and attitudes.
They impose questions of manner and morale; How do we move in a seemingly tamed environment? How do we react when we’re being watched? Do we adapt?
Entering the room one is greeted by a slightly reflective pink convex object which lingers far up in the top corner of the space. Titled THE PATRON SAINT OF SL this piece by Sunny Pudert overlooks the situation and follows the visitor around like the fixated gaze of a stalking cat. It is met by a second work with the same title hanging way lower on the opposite wall, a black and white stock photo of actress Winona Ryder, seemingly nervous, drinking water out of a plastic bottle. The span in-between the two entities emphasizes some sort of tension. The artist mocks a concern with possible illegal actions like shoplifting or pickpocketing. Hereby of great importance is to question who the subject might be that she is addressing. Somehow linking the gallery space to the function of a shop, she evokes further thoughts on ownership and capital in this context.
Equally interruptive and inviting is another two parted intervention in the space by Eliza Ballesteros. Her work DOMESTIC HECK consists of two shiny chair-like objects with deer legs and hooves as well as of two brass bells on leather and brocade collars. Detached from their purposed host, the bells are passively hanging on the wall. Their utility of making a sound in order to draw attention to or get noticed remains unneeded.
While pointing out that we still uphold a clear hierarchy among living beings on this earth within which the human always resides on top, this work amplifies the notion of controlled mobility and flow as one progresses throughout the exhibition.
Posture and functionality are also further argued in JP Langer’s installation AFTER DEMETER :
A huge spool with quite long metal hooks sticking out of it is being juxtaposed with a ridiculously tiny, pocket-sized 3D print of an Amish carriage. While the vast object almost blocks the whole entrance to the second room, the small vehicle on the floor could almost be overlooked.
JP Langer constructs a power structure within time and space that playfully negotiates non-movement or even the sabotaging of movement to be another quintessential part of a process. In the tradition of Michel Foucault’s heterotopias, she talks about isolation and access through opposing historic means of transportation with a formal appearance of something most likely known from a building site.
Framed by several drawings of Valeria Schneider which, given their environment, could be interpreted as instructions for certain motion sequences or case studies of a collective body, it is shifting images of other key places outside of the gallery that present themselves as the home of a dialogue between the works presented in “FEAT TO BOOT”.
Indeed, the show seems to offer exactly this kind of dislocation of thought as a strategy to escape pattern and categorization. The provocation of imaginary fields functions as a tool to cover up other obvious facts and parameters that seem to be easy to read. All works consist of several parts depending on each other, blurring the borders of its separate entities. Like in a contemporary bankruptcy case, a symptom of a corrupted society, the pieces build a network throughout the space in which going under the radar is allegedly possible.
Or as a passage from the accompanying exhibition text written by Kea Bolenz beautifully illustrates: „good thing you can make your body disappear by simply throwing fabric over it! now give me the hand pants (or put me in an on-brand full body bag)“