Double Blind 2016, Künstlerhaus Lauenburg

Bar, exhibition space, or office?—where are we? Aesthetic edification versus function—art or life? The divergent entrance situation of the Künstlerhaus solidifies into this question as a central motif in the work Double Blind (following the psychological term of double bind).

Bright yellow carpeting has been laid on the plank flooring in the entrance area, a black spot on the carpeting marks the fictitious standpoint for visitors entering the space. The reproduction of a historical bar, which was built after the flood of 2013, disappears behind an upper part clad with carpeting. Functional references can only be discerned by a central “peephole” and the barstools in front of it.

A door-wide, black width of carpeting, laid on the floor and hung in a flat curve below the ceiling, connects the entrance area with the gallery space. This is touched by a yellow width of carpeting—its divergent axes are an expression of the curved floor plan of the building—that runs straight through the exhibition space, past a pair of columns that have also been clad with carpeting, through the door that is open during opening hours, finally ending at the balustrade of the terrace.

Here, revealing a view of the river, the work, which consists of motion, perception, and visitor expectations, proves to be an “aligning” passage. The gallery space as a site of objects to be consumed is negated—in favor of the questions posed at the beginning and demanding that visitors take a position on them.

“Vision is an action.” (Maurice Merleau-Ponty)