Tobias Rehberger

‘Paradigm Store’

HS Projects curated the second major group exhibition at 5 Howick Place, ‘Paradigm Store’. ’Paradigm Store’ examines the interface between art and design and the latent socio-economic and political forces that underpin it through new and recent work by seventeen UK and international artists.

Spread over five floors and 80,000 sq ft, HS Projects brings together a diverse line-up of emerging and established artists to explore issues of the decorative and the functional through a mixed range of media, proposing new ways of re-considering our environment and social structures. From immersive, site-specific installations and large-scale sculptural works to paintings, performance and film, the exhibition aims to investigate artists’ unrivalled engagement with art and life through reference to the readymade, 20th Century Modernism, architecture, specific histories and origins, as well as the subversion of language and modes of popular culture.

Highlights of ‘Paradigm Store’ include a new ‘still-life’ ceramic arrangement by British artist Simon Bedwell; an ‘art store’ installation by artist duo Cullinan & Richards; an animated rock garden by Harold Offeh; a collage installation of cut-up fragments and clay bricks by Paula Roush; a sculptural relief by Theo Stamatoyiannis which questions the boundaries of sculpture and architecture; a free-form installation by Beatriz Olabarrieta that combines low-fi building materials with video; and new collage sculptural structures by Anne Harild. A film by Brazilian artist Beatriz Milhazes inspired by Japanese ‘sangaku’ is shown in the UK for the first time, courtesy of the Cartier Foundation, alongside other works making a UK debut by Kendell Geers, Claire Barclay, Nike Savvas and David Shrigley. Other participating artists include Yutaka Sone, Maria Nepomuceno, Ulla von Brandenburg, Elizabeth Neel and Tobias Rehberger.

During the private view there was a performance by artist collaborators Meta Drcar and Dori Deng featuring three female dancers responding to the architecture of the space; as well as a live performance of sculptural objects by Harold Offeh based on his series of work looking at elements of historical 17th and 18th century gardens as sites of artifice, spectacle and theatre.

‘Paradigm Store’ was funded by Invesco Real Estate (IRE) and Urban & Civic, the joint developer behind 5 Howick Place with Doughty Hanson & Co Real Estate.

‘Paradigm Store’ was at 5 Howick Place, Victoria London, from 25 September – 5 November 2014.


‘Sex and Friends’, Tobias Rehberger

HS Projects presented an exhibition of recent works by Tobias Rehberger. Rehberger draws inspiration from modernist art history, fashion, architecture, 1960’s and 1970’s design to create quirky and interactive objects, sculptures and environments, principally revolving around the concept of transformation. Rehberger is well known for his provocative ideas such as his proposal to refashion a Donald Judd sculpture into a bar and his questioning of authorship such as in sending basic sketches of luxury cars to a Thai car manufacturer who created inevitably imperfect versions of the vehicles based on the drawings. Working with industrial processes and technological innovations, and drawing on a repertoire of quotidian objects appropriated from everyday mass-culture, Rehberger translates, alters and expands ordinary situations and objects with which we are familiar.

‘Untitled (Sex)’, 2012 is a brightly coloured, abstract, quasi-anthropomorphic sculpture with retro, kitsch, Op like qualities. Depending on the ambient light, the work casts an eloquent word shadow on the floor, which reads ‘SEX’, accentuated by the sculptural configuration of its fleshy crests. The shadow word and its disappearance in space plays a kind of visual trickery on the beholder and acts as a good metaphor for transportation, for shifting from one place to another. As with all of Rehberger’s works, the viewer plays a vital role in the interpretation and meaning of the work and is invited to enter into a dialogue on perception, authorship and temporality.

‘Untitled (Anne Frank)’, 2011, which comprises of two works, is a brightly coloured, fluorescent sculpture and neon-environment machine, where the slick, glossy perfection of the manufactured is paired with the intentional imperfection of the crafted and the hand made. One work, Frank, composed of yellow, orange and transparent eclipses speckled with dots, creates an enjoyably kitsch, colourful, modulating abstraction, while the other work, Anne, is an upright of cubist wooden geometry which casts a shadow spelling the word ‘Anne’.

As with ‘Anne’, ‘Untitled (Never)’, 2011 is an upright of cubist wooden geometry which casts a shadow spelling the word ‘Never’. At first glance the sculptures seem abstract; they seem to question the functionality of an art object. Then, at regular but very brief times of the day, the amorphous shadows suddenly come together to form a previously hidden message.

‘Sex and Friends’ was at 5 Howick Place from May 2013 to March 2014.