14 Apr – 13 May 2001


Martin Krenn, Jeroen Offerman, Jesus Palomino, Diemut Strebe

'NEUBAUTEN' comprises four installations of topical interest. Although the works have nothing in common they, like their artists, possess a similar intention and energy.

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'NEUBAUTEN' includes new work by four young European artists who are mentally or physically constructing their own, unique oeuvre.

Jeroen Offerman (NL/ London) created the least visible installation. While extremely subtle in terms of size, it nevertheless manages to exert an enormous presence. Offerman welded a tiny cage, plated it in silver, had a small plastic bowl made and combined the various elements. This is all in the service of Offerman's new pet, Henry the fly. Henry, declared a work of art by Offerman (based in the UK) is perhaps the smallest work ever to be presented in such an adult format in the rear space. In the country in which artists are automatically elevated to the status of superstars, this newcomer to artist ranks, with his minimal presence but maximal ego is already very well known. W139 is delighted to have been able to persuade Mr Henry's agent to allow him to visit Amsterdam. As far as we know, this makes Henry the first fly to have ever been officially transported by plane in true star style. Offerman's work questions boundaries, life and how we deal with the world. In fact, it faces us with questions we were never asked before.

Martin Krenn (Vienna) presents the poster series 'DEMONstrate'. A 26-part portrait of people who demonstrate in Vienna every Thursday against Jörg Haider's FPÖ party's participation in the government. Krenn selected individuals from the crowd, and told them about his intentions. Then he photographed and interviewed them, letting them choose the photo and statements to be printed on the poster. The end result is a series of documents that give a journalistic impression (Krenn adds nothing) of a number of individuals, recording their fears, anger and reasons for meeting every Thursday to protest. The dangers involved in this weekly ritual were evident on 22 February 2001. After months of being barely 'tolerated' by the government, the demonstrators were eventually countered by an enormous police presence. Extreme violence followed. Many European countries and the media are perhaps a little weary of the 'Austria issue'. But the fact remains that the FPÖ is still in power. As an artwork, Krenn's 'DEMONstrate is more relevant than ever because of the media's very silence.

For a number of years, Jesús Palomino (Seville / Amsterdam) has been making Bidonville-style constructions of brightly coloured plastic, canvas and other materials, fashioning a schizophrenic image of a happy shant y town that could have been built by the fashion-conscious homeless. For the rear space, Palomino conceived an installation of three mammoth billboards that combine to form a shelter. The ghetto architecture isn't adorned with the usual advertising images, remaining simply what it is - wood, strip lighting and Palomino's collection of candy-coloured voiles. Lo-Fi, raw, and nonetheless dazzlingly beautiful. Entitled 'Is Land', the installation can be read as a monument to a world that allows some of us to founder and fall by the wayside.