One Of the Few real "premiers" was Stefan Abt's film installation Granada at Michael Janssen. a 20- minute "static narration", as Abt calls it, in four parts. filmed at four different places in the world. Unlike video or cinematic film, the large two -sided screen in die middle of the space allowed the viewer to move around freely. There were also filiar-related works at Christian Nagel, where John Waters. best known to most people as the director (if campy classics such as "Hairspray" and "Pink Flamingos," showed his favorite fetishes, such as Liz Taylor's hair in the form of a series or film-still collages.
Maria Brunner at Gisela Capitain and Matthias Groebel at Galerie Berndt also used filmstills as their source material, although here the subject was of lesser interest to them. From photographs of television pictures, Brunner cut perspectival elements such as rows of columns disappearing to a vanishing point and geometric floor-patterns.
Groebel,on the other hand, transfers digitized television pictures with a computer-guided airbrush pistol on to ccanvas: the pixels of the computer monitor become a vague pointillist color surface, which frustrates the viewer's voyeuristic impulse and desire for visual access.
Louise Lawler's new works at
Monika Sprüth had a surprisingly
painterly look: on large-formal
cibachrome prints she shows the
walls of the new spaces of her New
York gallery, Metro Pictures, before
its renovation and standardization as
a typical white cube The works sat
well, with their almost abstract
flatness, next to the paintings of
George Condo. Peter Lung. and
Axel Kasseböhmer. The exhibition of
paintings and drawings by Ralf
Schauff at Daniel Buchholz was his
first one man show in Cologne. The
aesthetic in his work and their
presentation are closely related to
the Position of Michael Krebber
which could the described as
Kebber's relation to his references
such as Wols, Polke, Höckelmann
At Johnen & Schöttle, there
were no surprises in Inez van
Lambsweerde's new cycle of
glossy pictures, loaded with
sexual meaning of primary
school age girls entitled "The
Widow". The critique of desire
on the part of adults to see
children as "innocent" ( a girl
holds a man on her lap as
Maria holds the dead Jesus) is
one thing, as are girls trying out
the role-models of adult women
and putting on their mothers'
stockings, but what concerns
me is the explanation of the
virulent desire here, that childish
sexual desire should he aimed
The few group shows varied from conceptual exhalations like 'Wechselstrom" (''Alternating Current ") curated by Thomas Seelig for Gallerie Ulrich Fiedler, which showed a representative spectrum of contemporary photography, to those that struck me as the chance meeting of various works on the walls of the gallery like "All of a Sudden II" ( quotinging a book title by Jack Pierson ) at Aurel Scheibler. Strollers who know the well-trodden pubs between Friesenplatz and the southern part of the city had a rare opportunity to see an extensive presentation of Moscow artist Alexander Djikia at Thomas Zander. whose dravvings with their accompanying text could be seen as a fRussian equivalent to those of Raymond Pettibon.
Few projects had such a utopian flair as Shifting Asphalt by Bittermann & Duka at Thomas Rehbein: using a computer, they designed fictional gardens to improve one of the many urban disasters in Cologne but without the concrete expectation of being able in realize their ideas in the foreseeable future. This rather pragmatic,down-to earth attitude also typified the general atmosphere of the Premieren weekend.
Barbara Hess is a critic based in cologne