no title (offspace)
group exhibition with Christian Mayer and Alexander Wolff, video installation.
4 loops (1each) on 4 monitors installed in the room:
Review to the exhibition:
Sonke GAU, Flashart, november 2001.
Christian Mayer, Yves Mettler, Alexander Wolff
Offspace, 22 September 27 October 2001
While the appropriation and exploitation of urban space still represented an emancipatory challenge
ing the seventies, recent years have witnessed an increasing scarcity of freely accessible public
space resulting from the progressive commercialisation of downtown areas. Urban planning policy
today is devoted increasingly to event marketing and the programming of smooth surfaces. As city
centres become theme parks in which aspects of urban culture are dramatised in keeping with the
criteria of commercial and touristic utility and access is regulated by the mechanisms of buying
power and social affiliation, urban blight is beginning to spread on the periphery, away from the
downtown attractions, creating areas so stagnant and barren that they can hardly be regarded as
part of public space. The three artists Christian Mayer, Yves Mettler, and Alexander Wolff have turned
their attention in this first exhibition presented by the recently opened Viennese Offspace to
these white spots on the urban planning map, making the name of the exhibition venue the point of
departure for their artistic investigation of urban space. Wolf converts the gallery into two separate
rooms by installing a diagonal partition roughly the size of the gallery floor. With this architectural
intervention, he divides the gallery into a space that is easily visible through the front window and
another that can only be accessed through the rear entrance. Mayer and Mettler present their video
works in dialogue with this setting. The eventless character of activity taking place on an inner-city
square surrounded by a traffic circle that is intersected by two railroad lines is documented from
three different perspectives and juxtaposed with video sequences showing a youthful skateboarder.
Another video clip shows a city worker in the process of attempting to remove graffiti from a con-crete
wall. As site-oriented emancipatory practice, these forms of expression typical of a contem-porary
urban youth cultureskateboarding and graffiti-sprayingmay be short-lived, yet they do
offer, at least temporarily, a way of occupying and redefining voids in urban landscapes.
Nicole Scheyerer, Falter, Wien, october 2001
[...] Auch der offspace (bis 27.10) zeigt eine Zusammenarbeit von Künstlern: In der durch ein raffinierten
Raumeingriff von Alexander Wolff zweigeteilten Galerie stellen thematisch korrespondierenden
Arbeiten von Yves Mettler une Christian Mayer die Frage nach der Bedeutung ungenutzter Orte
und ihre irregulären Aneignung durch Skateboarding oder Graffiti. Der von Mettler gefilmte und
auf vier Monitore gezeigte Europaplatz in Lausanne [CH]: Die trostlose Anonymität der leeren
Fläche denunziert ihren grosse Namen, und die sie umbrausende Autos scheinen den wahren Kern
der oft so pathetisch beschriebenen Staatgemeinschaft aufzudecken: den freien Warenverkehr.