Nusser & Baumgart is pleased to announce the opening of the new gallery space at Steinheilstrasse 18 in Munich with a solo show by Michael Wesely (*1963).
"In recent years, it has been possible to discern an attitude in the way Michael Wesely sees himself that would suggest a specific attempt on his part to implement his artistic ideas in a more concentrated and intensive manner. We are not talking about a change in strategy here, rather a considered artistic reorientation in connection with a critically self-assured revision of his overall production, which has led him to re-examine his archived works once more. This current selection of images represents Wesely's commitment to this revision; it contains largely new examples as well as some older images, occasionally reverting to spacious photographs, taking details from them, and presenting them in enlarged formats as images in their own right. There is a fresh impetus to all this.
In Weselys photographies light is the one important thing. Semiotically speaking, light is blind to the visibility of what is happening, and Wesely guides the light in such a way that allows the images to emerge, which he then hopes to wrest from reality. Wesely records what ever his camera is pointing at, but he is able to steer away from the kind of images we are accustomed to by means of unusual and extremely elongated exposure times. As suggested at the outset, this technically produced deviation is predicated upon a correlative deviation in the conditioning of our perception. In so doing Wesely, not only uses light in order to illustrate the elapsed time of the occurrence, which would normally escape our attention, he also implicitly makes it thema thematically significant. He takes light for what it is in the same way that one might take a word at its word.
The titles of the photographs with their details of time and place gradually provide an index, which in turn effectively catalogues Wesely's activity. They can be read as a reference to the section of reality depicted so that we can indentify each image with a thematic cause or reason; furthermore, they indicate where we would be if we were able to accept the invitation in the image and understand its genesis.
Nevertheless, this realistic reference reveals itself as an indication of modus operandi of a seemingly unreal vividness.
Wesely dispenses with the notoriety of photographic realism by suspending the images-sometimes to a considerable degree-from any semblance of recognisability or the constraints of unambiguity.
He places the images in a continuous state of readiness, invites accidents, penetrates the mundanity of the superficial, chips away at the self-assured view and counters the conventional obduracy of representation with the blur of the vaguely supposed entity or action. In short, he casts doubt upon images of reality with the aid of the reality in his images.
Thus, something that has long since vanished still appears to be present. What we experience in Michael Wesely's photographs is the presence of the absent in terms of its absence, or put differently, the transitory visibility on the long since invisible.
When we abandon a binding temporal frame of reference, which we do along with all objects when we are asleep, we duly give free rein to their protean manifestations in dreams. However, the camera doesn't sleep. Nor does Wesely photograph dreams, even if some of his photographs have wonderfully dreamlike qualities. The simultaneity of the sequential or intrinsically non-simultaneous granted him is due to a technical transmission manoeuvre that allows him to let reality present itself in whatever temporal condition it desires.
Wesely is now working more intensely than ever before on the mediality of the photographic image.
He travels to the very edge of the visible in order to highlight what there is to see, precisely in the very moment it eludes us. He would like to know the liminal properties of the invisible, what messages the metering of time sends out and how resilient the photo-sensitive receptor might be."
(Jürgen Harten, excerpt from the text for the forthcoming publication "Michael Wesely. Time Works", 2010, Schirmer/ Mosel)
Michael Wesely (*1963 in Munich) lives in Berlin. He participated in numerous international shows and festivals like Alte Nationalgalerie (Berlin), Berlinische Galerie (Berlin), Museum of Modern Art (New York), Museum voor Fotografie (Antwerpen), Bundeskunsthalle (Bonn), Palais des Beaux Arts (BOZAR, Brussels), Martin Gropius Bau (Berlin), Hamburger Bahnhof (Berlin), Museo de Arte Contemporaneo (Santiago, Chile), Institut für Moderne Kunst (Nuremberg), Museum für Moderne Kunst (Moscow), Deichtorhallen (Hamburg), Haus der Kunst (Munich), Kunstmuseum (Bonn). His works are in manifold international collections like The Museum of Modern Art (New York), Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus (Munich), Daimler Art Collection (Berlin/Stuttgart), Contemporary Art Collection of the Federal Republic of Germany (Bonn) and Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen (Munich).