WERNER HUTHMACHER | Bavaria
Opening: Friday, 9 April 2010, 7 p.m.
Exhibition: 10 April - 8 May 2010
Apart from being the Latin for Bayern, the term “Bavaria” can be placed in front of all kinds of things: Bavaria fire extinguishers, second-hand Bavaria boots, Bavaria film studios, insurance companies, caravans, mountains, urinals, onion patterns and so on. It makes everthing sound special.
Bavaria also refers to the giant nineteenth-century female bronze figure located at the edge of the Theresienwiese in Munich, holding up an oak wreath. The oak wreath serves as a symbol of honour for those whose busts are exhibited in the Hall of Fame behind the statue. The platform in the head of the statue has a small see-through hatch with a view of the Theresienwiese, where the annual Octoberfest takes place as well as the assembling and dismantling of the festival halls.
Huthmacher’s work was created during the assembling period and seeks to portray elements of the construction and decoration in a highly reduced form. It deals with intervals of space, such as the relationship between inside and outside, back and front, temporally between before and after. Most of the halls are used year in, year out, dismantled, reassembled, painted and re-used. Traces of previous uses can thus be surmised under the many coats of paint. The reassembled and freshly painted hall constructions are supplemented with decorative accessories such as widths of material and garlands that link elements of staged cosiness with the identity of the respective hall.
The images attempt to comply with the simplicity of the constructions and decorations. Scales are disbanded, the documentary character of the place disappears. What remains discernible in the pictures are surfaces and spaces that will no longer be visible in this tranquillity and purity as soon as the Fest gets under way.