Continuing the exhibition-series promoting young South-Tyrolean artists, the ar/ge art Gallery Museum now displays works of the artist Siggi Hofer in a solo-show. Born in Bruneck in 1970, the artist now lives in Vienna.
Based on the title of the exhibition, constituted by a German pop song line that was transformed into the English language by the artist, Siggi Hofer compiles a complex and well-choreographed show, with specific focus on the premises of the Gallery Museum.
The show consists of various different items, e.g. a series of small- and large-size watercolour paintings, a model of a castle, a video clip, as well as newspaper articles and a pair of wooden horse legs, dangling from the ceiling.
The underlying master concept is displayed by the mutual dependence of the single pieces, one somehow emerging from the other. In their contraposition they constitute the leitmotif, guiding the visitor to the exhibition’s main theme: “A Reality-Overkill” (by means of which at the same time the contraposition of the exhibition’s title is indicated).
The invitation card shows a newspaper-article-section selected by Siggi Hofer. Content of this article is an occurrence embedded in the artist’s own biography (which he herewith claims to be publicly relevant): Namely the fire blight in his flat in Vienna after a gas explosion. This event is concatenated in the artist’s thought-memos to the destruction of the World Trade Centre in New York 2001. At that time Susan Sontag commented the 9/11 TV-reportings in the following way: America has never been further from reality than to this point of time, in which a reality-overkill barged in on us.
The lettering „Übermaß“ (overkill) flaunts above the model of a medieval castle which was supplemented – revealing utmost care for detail work – with contemporary building extensions, thus leading us from the text level onto the spacial level: an exercise which for Siggi Hofer generates meaning.
The objects and drawings allow for a critical and challenging glance at the conventional concepts of space and order. Here, the quality of systems made by humans is being scrutinized, giving rise to questions of the dimension (resp. overkill) of reality at the very same time.
Private and public, idyll and sudden destruction constitute antonyms, create polarity, and then come into conflict and finally exchange signs and value. In a critical and ironical way, Siggi Hofer thwarts the traditional equation in which privacy is associated with idyll and peace and the public world is associated with danger. Small-size “beautiful watercolour paintings” show galloping horses, Alpine huts or intimate self-portraits of the artist in his own flat. But one day the idyll burns down, the flat explodes or human mankind faces a fatal threat.
The big-size drawings (appr. 3 meters breadth) that show views of cities resp. landscapes of bird’s eye view, allow for the obsessively detailed celebration of putative control over such unpredictable and chaotic processes. Serialized grids of settlements, Industry, highways, bridges and rivers spread across jagged regions and constitute the elements of a utopian architecture. Power and control are exercised by means of a rigid order, determined by the artist himself. The execution of power and control is then interrupted in different places in such a way that it leads to a final disorientation.
The architectural structure incorporates inserted textual paragraphs, like „Der Schrei“ (the scream), „Licht“ (light) or „Übermaß“ (overkill), whose interpretation can hardly be deduced from the picture per se. They do have the function of compositional and contextual irritation though and map the narrative level onto a parallel level beyond conventional interpretations of picture – content – text. Therefore, Siggi Hofer´s messages always gain their understanding by combining the different “codes”: the exhibited pieces enforce a cross-reading.
The little girl just wants to express her feelings, but thereby sparks off a disaster: The beloved horse shies away, rears up…. Will we, the visitor, get off scot-free?