Benjamin Appel: Die Wand auf den Boden legen

04 March – 15 April, 2017
04 March, 6 – 9 pm

Laying the wall on the floor
The title of Benjamin Appel’s exhibition describes an irrational action. The elements used in the construction of buildings are vertical or horizontal, only when the construction fails walls will tumble to the ground to become something else at the same instant: rubble and debris. The point of departure for Appel’s objects, installations, paintings and video works is the physical space and volume that shapes the places people inhabit: houses, boxes, sites and furniture. In the translation of these elements into the context of art they come to serve him as both raw material and hypothesis about the emergence of identity and reality. A wall on the floor alters the reliable parameters of our built environment. Or otherwise it changes the validity of the representation of this reality in language: the signified and the signifier become confused, communication collapses.
In March 2017 Benjamin Appel presented two shows at the same time: “Die Wand auf den Boden legen” (“Laying the wall on the floor”) in Leipzig and “Den Keller mit Beton füllen” (“Filling the basement with concrete”) at Städtische Galerie Sindelfingen. While large scale, site specific installations and paintings were on view in Sindelfingen, the exhibition in Leipzig consisted mainly of objects. The white walls and the concrete floor of the gallery space found resonance in these: pieces of furniture or parts thereof, with the function of storing objects, to order and preserve them, were filled with concrete by Appel. Their volumes were eliminated, their fronts appearing as fine grained slabs of concrete. Similar to the transfer of a three-dimensional subject into the two-dimensionality of painting, space is translated into surfaces and generates its own spatiality. In correlation with the site of the exhibition this raises the question where we actually stand: inside the space, within the object, in front of the object or faced with the challenge of not being able to make this distinction.