Friday, November 30, 2007

REVIEW: Simon Starling at neugerriemschneider

Berlin
Simon Starling
neugerriemschneider
Linienstrasse 155
November 11 – January 13

Within a milieu of quiet conceptualism, of thoughtful works in silent spaces where whispering is par for the norm, Simon Starling’s latest show heralds a booming breakaway. A mind-twisting work titled after its maker, Wilhelm Noack oHG is both film projector and film projection. That is, the film projector itself is a twisted work of art conceived of by Starling and produced by the Noack family firm, and the film is a 4-minute history of its maker and makings. Dark and loud, clangs and bangs of industrial metal-working pierce the room whose bass note remains the mechanic purr of an oversized projector – a spiraling staircase, shiny and new, very possibly a machine rendered after a mental rendezvous with Maholy-Nagy and Jean Tinguely. And though the black-and-white film is nostalgic, it never crosses the border of being maudlin. Here Starling’s continuing fascination with re-building what has already been built appears to be a reflection of a Real beyond the airy ethereal of a virtual production line stretching from Boise to Bombay. And if Fischli and Weiss’s Der Lauf der Dinge [the way things go] is the product of child’s play revived (two boys home alone with matches), then Starling’s latest production is an adult homage to the aesthetic mechanics of the “hard” in a hard-drive technological montage.

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