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27 Aug 2008

Künstlerhaus Stuttgart: Cristóbal Lehyt

Cristóbal Lehyt: Drama Projection, 2008

Cristóbal Lehyt: Dramaprojektion


September 5 - November 8, 2008
Opening: Thursday, September 4, 7pm

Hours: Wed. - Fri. 3 - 7pm, Sat. 11am - 4pm

+49 711 617652
+49 711 613165

Reuchlinstr. 4b
70178 Stuttgart

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Künstlerhaus Stuttgart presents the first solo exhibition of the Chilean born artist Cristóbal Lehyt in Europe. Cristóbal Lehyt uses drawings, photography and installation for his works and has participated in important exhibitions in the last years in the US and South America. In his exhibition in Stuttgart, Cristóbal Lehyt will present the ongoing project 'El Norte' (The North) and new works which will be produced specifically for the exhibition.

The works of Cristóbal Lehyt deal with the question of how personal and subjective feelings are interconnected with cultural influences, but also projections and expectations. His series 'El Norte' shows images of the big desert in Northern Chile as well as found images, like re-photographed newspapers, that the artist brings into association with the series. The arid landscape, which dominates a third of Chile's topography, is as fascinating as it is hostile and can be read like a symbol of the ambivalent socio-political development of South America. Even though Cristóbal Lehyt proceeds with an obvious interest in these political and social conflicts in mind, his works resist a narrative, documentary reading. In the exhibition in Stuttgart, the images obliquely demonstrate the distance between South Germany and a country which is marked by its recent past, but that cannot be read immediately from the images. While artists from far away countries are often supposed to talk about their origin, 'El Norte' exhibits instead the dynamics of periphery and center that produces at first the artist as 'exotic informant.'

For the exhibition in Stuttgart, Cristóbal Lehyt will produce a series of large-scale portraits of the citizens of Stuttgart, which approach the question of subjectivity through the practice of drawing. The works, titled 'Drama Projections', are the result of trance-like state, in which the artist imagines to be somebody else. The projection includes the drawing style, which varies from drawing to drawing. At the same time, artistic style is necessarily linked to the knowledge of the artist. The drawings combine subjective expression and the attempt to merge into a specific locality and develop a special, almost uncanny new form. A second work produced specifically for the exhibition at Künstlerhaus is a subjective model of the city, composed out of thousand of single elements. The model recalls in its size and form the well-known expansive city models that have been exhibited during the last century, above all in world exhibitions. The model of Cristóbal Lehyt is made out of left-over materials that the artist discovered during long walks through the city of Stuttgart. Like the other works, the model questions the usual stability of images of 'other places' and opens up new possibilities to show subjective views on a place and negotiate its meaning.

Cristóbal Lehyt (born 1973), lives and works in New York. Notable exhibitions in the past include 'New Ghost Entertainment Entitled,' Or gallery and Kunsthaus Dresden (2006), 'Metaphysics of Youth,' Fuori Uso, Pescara (2006), Shanghai Biennale (2004), 'The American Effect,' Whitney Museum of American Art (2003). His upcoming solo shows will take place at Fundación Telefonica and Centro Cultural Matucana in Santiago Chile (2009) as well as at Carpenter Center, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA (2010).

For the exhibition, a catalogue will be published with texts by Julia Bryan-Wilson, Sabeth Buchmann and Javier Tellez at JRP-Ringier, Zurich.

The exhibition is kindly supported by KulturAllianzen.