In this exhibition Gerber presents a number of recent Supports that press the relationship between the loss of traditional orientations and the oscillating sense of joie de vivre that unexpectedly remains. Gerber’s work has long focused on the normative aspects of visual language: the way we, as part of a shared culture, accept certain forms, colors and situations as institutional, or we take them for granted as impartial common ground. These visual norms act as grounds for all other forms of expression and we use them to register difference and create meaning. In this exhibition, Gerber exclusively uses other artists’ work as a normative ground against which his, and our own expressions are recognized.
Gerber’s exhibition directly acknowledges the process of art coming from art, with the artist’s own expression often being as much action as object. Gerber’s Supports are not simply repurposed or copied objects; rather they make themselves understood as fundamentally normative works of art. In this way, Gerber’s practice embraces deviation as part of life rather than an adversity, emphasizing the objects’ continued presence and perceptual and embodied engagement.
The Supports belong to the realist tradition in art that is inclined towards accepting the world as it is. In all of the Supports the original representation has been replaced with a homogeneous value. The associations of this are explicit in the history of the monochrome and alternate aspects of the Supports readily become apparent. The implications are existential and paradoxical: the everyday is reaffirmed, yet given its transitory quality, the significance of pursuing that repetition seems tenuous.
Emanuel Layr, Vienna
Through February 17
Courtesy Gaylen Gerber and Galerie Emanuel Layr, Vienna