the nature of drifting
November 23rd – December 23rd, 2017
Land lies in water; it is shadowed green.
Shadows, or are they shallows, at its edges
showing the line of long sea-weeded ledges
where weeds hang to the simple blue from green.
Or does the land lean down to lift the sea from under,
drawing it unperturbed around itself?
Along the fine tan sandy shelf
is the land tugging at the sea from under?
-Elizabeth Bishop (1935)
Ulrich Vogl presents a series of new works across a variety of media. He takes 3D maps as his starting point, playing and working with them he changes their context. In day and night / night and day, the ragged edge of a landmass contrasts with the rigid boundary between one day and the next represented by the international date line. Vogl explores the aesthetic of these mapping techniques to consider the passage of time and various discrepancies that occur in its representation.
For the piece Alpen – half restored, Ulrich Vogl commissioned the conservator for contemporary art in Hamburg and Berlin, Claartje van Haften, to restore a map of the Alps by removing streets, cities and other symbols of civilisation using the same restoration techniques often used to repair damaged paintings. In doing this, he suggests a landmass free from human colonisation. The ‘ready-made’ map gets almost completely over-painted and thus becomes a painting. ‘Back to nature’ in this case actually means leaving many human traces behind. In the process of overlaying the map, manipulating it and altering it gradually through the medium of paint, familiar topographies are subverted.
The fifteen maps in the exhibition will be presented alongside a previous installation by Vogl that has also centered on the issue of land and territory as well as a film by Vogl titled, House West.
House West / Dokumentation, installation, 2 Min, 2004. Available to watch here.