A small snippet from a cassette, vinyl record, or VHS tape, on which a kiss on the canvas, the words “Unfortunately I have to go,” or a piece of music have been frozen. Gregor Hildebrandt’s initial materials are analogue data storage devices which he uses to create minimalistic but also often large-scale installations. The magnetic cassette and video tapes have been dismembered into fragments, can no longer be played, and their content can no longer be verified. The process of artistic transformation renders the movie scenes and music recordings saved on the pitch-black tapes unseeable and unhearable. The viewer is equally fascinated by imagining the contents as by the delicate black material, which can be matt or shiny, and changes its appearance depending on the perspective from which it is seen.
In its café in Amerika Haus, C/O Berlin presents two works The Threshold (2012) and Scala (2009): For The Threshold, Hildebrandt has transferred the surfaces of the broken paving stones found on the way to his studio first onto parchment paper and then onto the canvases, using the special printing technique of frottage. Atop this sits a layer of sliced-up cassette tape fragments, onto which Hildebrandt had previously recorded everyday sounds like birdsong, car and street noise, wind, and rainfall. The Threshold numbers among those well-known pieces by Hildebrandt which manifest their deeper qualities only after careful examination. Upon inspection of the seventyeight-part work, cassette tapes, connections, cracks, and joints become visible, which only form an abstract work when viewed from a distance.
Scala is a relic of a mural, which Hildebrandt realized for the nightclub of the same name in Berlin in 2008. The painted quote is taken from the book Kleine Titanen von Nescio. After the club closed in 2009, Hildebrandt cut his artwork out of the wall and made it into an object.
Following exhibitions of works by Michail Pirgelis (2015), Karsten Konrad (2016), and Brigitte Waldach (2017), this show by Gregor Hildebrandt is the fourth art exhibition to be realized within C/O Berlin’s expanded exhibition and space plan for Amerika Haus. C/O Berlin is grateful to Galerie Wentrup for its support in the realization of this project.
was born in 1974 in Bad Homburg vor der Höhe, and lives and works in Berlin. He studied at the Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz and at the Berlin University of the Arts. Since 2015, he has been a professor at the Munich Academy of Fine Arts. His works have recently been exhibited at Centre Pompidou in Paris, the Haus der Kunst in Munich, and the Berlinische Galerie, among other places. His works are held in countless national and international collections. Hildebrandt has been awarded the Berlin Künstlerhaus Bethanien Falkenrot Prize (2016).