Horror Vacui

Collaboration with Erich Pick, Gallery Walk of Fame, Hamburg, 2008

Mixed-Media-Installation on three floors, based on the film “The Drowning Pool” with Paul Newmann and Joanne Woodward, 1975.

In this three-floor installation, we worked on illusionnistic moments. The basement of the Gallery, a former jewellery store, was completely tiled, like the “main” room in the film “The Drowning Pool”. We measured the space, the tiles and every spot where the tiles where cut to leave space for a sink etc. and used the ceiling as the layer to mirror the basement into the first floor. We created an illusion with plaster and copied the tiles on the walls. Additionally, we worked on the moments of presence and absence in the film. In the basement, we installed a hidden Dolby 5.1 sound installation. We isolated all the audio parts of the movie without dialogues to leave only the atmosphere created with music and sounds.

In contrary, we extracted still images from the film and deleted all the backgrounds to leave only the actors in a sort of frozen moment. These images where put on slides and projected in the front windows of the Gallery space. (see images on the following pages) In the third floor, we showed two solo-works by each of us that both play with the theme of the show, Horror Vacui (the fear of empty spaces). We chose this theme since we found it very challenging to work with a Gallery space which has so many predestinations, like the tiles in the basement, the glass cube-shop windows etc. What do you do with a space like that? Horror Vacui is the fear of an empty space, the fear of the empty canvas. And also, its one of the key-scenes of the film, as Paul Newmann and Joanne Woodward nearly drown in an empty room that slowly fills up with water …

Drawings from the series “Horror Vacui”, feltpen and color on paper, 30×30 cm, 10 pieces:

Installation views: basement and first floor, audio installation and fake tiles.
Double slide projection in the shop windows, three of the slides, 160 slides in total