Galerie Fons Welters - Back Space
12 Aug – 16 Sep 2000
Galerie Fons Welters is pleased to announce the first solo exhibition of the Dutch artist Gabriël Lester. The exhibit runs from 12 August to 16 September.
Choreography is the title of the show as well as one of the four works on view: In Choreography (2000) the viewer sees three synchronized videos (in four consecutive sets), simultaneously projected, in a row across the back wall of the gallery. Much like three actors or dancers in a film or stage production, these images of natural landscape have been filmed in a rhythm, which draws the viewer into a four-act play. Revolving mountains introduce Act I; streams of water carry Act II; mad, nauseating dashes of forest climax in Act III; and the epilogue marries earth, wind and sky. Lester traveled to Southern Germany to shoot the 12 different nature sequences, which make up the work, using an industrial robot as camera arm while filming. Its precise movements, carefully pre-programmed, the musical underscore and the nature sounds which accompany the whole, ensure a manipulative choreography which manages to hold the viewer, dumbfounded, in the grips of a (not so teased?) traditional narrative.
The manipulation of space, or, rather, of our collective (read: safe) notion of space is toyed with again in Sketches of Space (2000). This work consists of four large mechanical advertisement boxes with regularly revolving posters. These ‘drawings’, viewed together, make up a continuously changing architecture. Again, using a kind of choreography, but this time one of suggested spaces, Lester shows us, the viewers, our own will to see what we know and to recognize our conditioned perception.
A playful blurring of rational or accepted ways of perceiving common images or notions can often be distinguished in Gabriël Lester’s work. Nine photographs all entitled Graffiti (2000) are hung in the front space of the gallery. They are stills of movie credits, carefully selected from various films, purposefully blurred and made illegible yet, for the viewer, they remain familiar. The spectator’s eye is kept busy trying to decide whether to attempt to read the fuzzy language or to look at the abstract picture: now a name, now an image. Do we see what we know or know what we see?