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07 Dec 2012

Cheyney Thompson, Walter Zurborg and Yearly Editions at Kunstverein Braunschweig

Cheyney Thompson
Pedestal 9, 2010
19mm MDF, Formica K1994, 3200 square inches,
three carafes of vodka, 106,7 x 40,6 x 40,6 cm
Courtesy Campoli Presti, London / Paris

Cheyney Thompson / Walter Zurborg
Yearly Editions 2012/13
Kunstverein Braunschweig


Opening: December 7, 7p.m.
Artist's talk with Walter Zurborg:
January 31, 7p.m.
Opening hours: Tue-Sun 11a.m. - 5 p.m., Thu 11 a.m. - 8 p.m.
Free guided tours:
Thu 6 p.m., Sun 2.30 p.m.

Nina Mende
++49 (0)531 49556
++49 (0)531 124737

Kunstverein Braunschweig
Lessingplatz 12
38100 Braunschweig

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Haus Salve Hospes

December 8, 2012–February 10, 2013
Opening: Friday, December 7, 2012, 7 p.m.

From December 8, 2012, to February 10, 2013, the Kunstverein Braunschweig is presenting the first institutional exhibition of works by the New York-based artist Cheyney Thompson (*1975 in Baton Rouge, USA). Otherwise known for his painting, for the exhibition he produced a completely new series of works: seventeen large-format pedestal sculptures and several drawings done on a computer.

For some time now, sculptural works have been shifting into the focus of his creative work and supplement his oeuvre of conceptual paintings, which have already attracted a great deal of attention in the United States. With the aid of a parametric design program, Thompson produced plans for so-called pedestal sculptures. While they are entirely different in terms of their form, they all feature exactly the same overall surface measure of 3,200 square inches. However, this number is only one of several parameters that Thompson used to design the objects. He has been scrutinizing the conventional computer programs employed to design architecture, urban space, and objects for a long time. As early as the 1960s, the French engineer Pierre Bézier developed an algorithm—known as the Bézier curve—upon which many such systems are based today. At the same time, this mathematic formula indicates the beginning of a tendency to conceptualize and produce objects digitally, culminating in what is now known as parametricism. Thompson also used a parametric design program for his most recent pedestal sculptures and laid down a set of rules with which only seventeen forms can actually comply. A shift in meaning occurs, as the actual function of the pedestal loses meaning in favor of form: now, function follows form.

The objects developed on the computer not only call the function of a pedestal into question; they also challenge the conditions for an object becoming a work of art. What is effectively a plain substructure used to present exhibits is liberated of its function and becomes both a sculpture itself as well as the basis for examining the 'superstructure': as an art object, the pedestal sculpture is a projection surface that is not only of aesthetic but, in equal measure, of economic interest.
Thompson has been addressing production processes as well as the reception and distribution of art for many years. Key aspects of this activity are always basic elements such as color, form, or surface. In 2011, he compiled a kind of reader containing his past artistic analyses and sources, which he has now had printed on the surfaces of his pedestal sculptures.

The MIT Visual Arts Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts, recently devoted a large-scale survey to Thompson. In addition, his work has also been presented in various museum and group exhibitions, including at MoMA and P.S.1 in New York, at the Arnolfini in Bristol, the Tate St. Ives, the Museum Morsbroich, as well as at the Whitney Museum in New York.

Haus Salve Hospes

Sebastian Burger, Björn Dahlem, Marcel Dzama, Carlos Garaicoa, Louise Hervé & Chloé Maillet, Eva Kotátková, Susanne Kriemann, Fabian Lehnert, Francisco Montoya Cázarez, Fernando Sánchez Castillo, Titus Schade, Florian Süssmayr, Adrian Williams, Walter Zurborg u.a.


December 8, 2012–February 10, 2013

Opening: Friday, December 7, 2012, 7 p.m.
Artist's talk: Thursday, January 31, 2013, 7 p.m.

The sculptor and sound artist Walter Zurborg (*1980 in Vechta, lives in Goldenstedt) uses simple means to create technically complex and occasionally humorous works, employing the techniques and methods of kinetics, Arte Povera, and Fluxus. Beginning December 8, 2012, his new works will be presented in a solo exhibition in the Remise of the Kunstverein Braunschweig.

Zurborg's mechanical, movable constructions and sound installations mostly consist of diverse found and everyday objects that he brings to life with meticulous skill without hiding their 'constructedness.' On the contrary: his machines challenge the viewer to understand the fiction against the background of their technical workings, put them into operation, interact with them, or move between and in the acoustic spaces. The dramaturgy of energy, motion, and sound is a key aspect of Walter Zurborg's works, as it is in his new ones, which he developed specifically for the exhibition in the Remise of the Kunstverein Braunschweig: in the space-consuming installation Value Pattern (2012), via a randomizer and upon entering the space, several kernels of corn from a total supply of 100 kg are transported from one large hopper into another. A motor-driven oscillating plate hurls the kernels at high speed through the space—every now and then they hit pairs of aluminum tubes suspended from the ceiling. Energy becomes motion and ultimately—palpable for the viewer—sound. However, what initially seems to be harmless play with chance and speed inevitably proves to make reference to our handling of resources and to the boundaries and responsibility of science and technology. Also in the small space of the Remise is a sound sculpture entitled Wheelie (2012), which Walter Zurborg developed in collaboration with Tamaki Watanabe.