Artist: David Lieske
Venue: Alex Zachary, New York
Exhibition Title: Imperium in Imperio
Date: September 8 – October 2, 2010
Full gallery of images, press release and link available after the jump.
Images courtesy of Alex Zachary, New York
Alex Zachary, New York, is pleased to present the first New York solo exhibition of Berlin-based artist David Lieske. Lieske’s exhibition, Imperium in Imperio, comprises new collage works, sculpture, video, and installation.
Lieske’s framed collage series, Imperium in Imperio (Fig. I) – (Fig. VI) originate from an earlier series of photographs, Commission # IV (CFA) (I – VII) (2008), commissioned by Contemporary Fine Arts, Berlin as an ad campaign for an exhibition there in which Lieske was to take part. The photos show Lieske’s own artworks piled among luggage and crates on a hotel trolley, attended by a model styled as Felix Krull, the bellhop-parvenu of Thomas Mann’s Confessions of Felix Krull, Confidence Man: The Early Years. The ad campaign was published in six European and American art magazines.
Inset within the 2008 advertisements are new photo works, all based upon a nude picture of the artist at age four taken by his grandfather; and found images from a recent exhibition at the National Gallery of royal portraiture and armor. Conceived as a hypothetical ad campaign for Lieske’s present exhibition, each composition is formatted to the full-page dimensions of the magazine in which its corresponding CFA advertisement appeared.
The collages are framed in Dutch African wax cottons used in Lieske’s 2009 exhibition at Corvi- Mora, London.
The sculptures Imperium in Imperio (Domestic Scenes I + III) make use of two family crests designed by Armin Spitzar (Lieske’s grandfather) and Marco Spitzar (Lieske’s uncle) respectively. Armin Spitzar designed the first crest during the 1950s, a period in postwar Germany when an aristocratic background seemed potentially potent. In a gesture of self-addressed assimilation he had crest rings produced for himself and his wife, and later for his two children. In the 1980s Spitzar’s son Marco took up the tradition but preferring his own design taste remade the family crest using a seahorse motif that he also used as a corporate identity and logo for his advertising agency, Spitzar Classic Design, after ending his attempted career as a post-minimalist sculptor.
Lieske’s video work, Imperium in Imperio (Domestic Scene IV) (Artist Recreation), documents the artist in his Berlin apartment with the 25-year-old Swiss novelist Pippin Wigglesworth-Weider. His debut novel – loosely based on his blog – recounts the excesses of a young heir in Zurich and Berlin. Lieske recorded their meeting using his laptop’s built-in camera. Installed opposite is Imperium in Imperio (Domestic Scene II) (Artist in Residence), a sculpture made in part from a 2005 work by Lieske exhibited at Friedrich Petzel Gallery, New York.
Imperium in Imperio (Domestic Scene V) (Exhaustion – Breakdown – Failure – Meditation) is a sound installation using tape produced by the artist’s grandmother, Gisela Spitzar. Spitzar began studying yoga and meditation practices in order to cure the burnout syndromes of her husband Armin, who used to run a fabric factory (and later joined her to become a full-time yoga teacher and author of countless publications on the subject, ultimately running a yoga school with his wife in Austria). The tape was sent to the artist’s mother, Daniela Spitzar, in times of crisis after facing the failure of her own artistic career as an informal painter in the early 1990s.