Otto Zoo gallery presents Presumed Reality, an exhibition of works from Benjamin Bergmann and Ebbe Stub Wittrup.
Presumed Reality is the title of the project of Danish photographer Ebbe Stub Wittrup (1973), whose work inspired this exhibition. Starting from one series of slides from the 1950s that portrayed one summer expedition in the Norwegian mountains, Wittrup has reinterpreted those classic and elegant images creating a different reality that is presumed and subtle. The protagonists of the expedition are an elusive presence, anonymous figures whose facial features are indefinite and blurred, placed in an imposing and impenetrable scenario. Witrupp’s large photographs become a testimony of the all-consuming desire for a past of ephemeral and unreachable elegance, an unfathomable and unreal déjà vu that is suspended in time. Distant, yet present, the worrysome boom of the mountains, the inescapable corrupt future.
The idea of a Presumed Reality is also at the root of the work of German artist Benjamin Bergmann (1968) that further pushed the dimensions of absurdity and confusion. His work treads the line between sculpture, installation and theater; having claimed a presence in the world of art at least from the time of “Fluxus”, the artist has always chosen to stake a central role as agitator. Agitator and dreamer, Bergmann constructs enormous machines of no use, salvaging old mechanics’ tools no longer in use. He is fascinated with their shape and sound, as well as with their function outside of their original context. He constructs abnormal lawn mowers, giant loudspeakers, oversized arches, bridges, illogical sceneries, ephemeral apparatuses. At the same moment of consumption, his pieces are simultaneously absolved of their function.
Both artists are fascinated with the construction of another reality that is both noble and redeeming. Starting with elements of the past, Wittrup and Bergmann encounter one another on the same playing field using a classic handmade aesthetic. The work of one has become an infallible way to decipher the work of the other, in turn revealing the deeper, more significant aspects.
Benjamin Bergmann (Würzburg, 1968)
Solo shows (selection) 2009: Galerie Zink, Berlin; 2008: Muhammad Ali, SAM, Köln; deep down bright day, Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich; 2006: quake, Museumsplatz der Städtischen Galerie im Lenbachhaus, Munich; 2005: Benjamin Bergmann, Sprüth Magers Projekte, Munich; Tunnelfraont, Ortstermine 2005, München; teatrum sacrum, Schauspiel Frankfurt, Frankfurt am Main. Group shows 2009: Art on Site, National Centre of Contemporary Arts, Petersburg; 2008: favorite II, Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus, Munich; about vague, Halle 14 , Leipzig and ACC Weimar; 2006: ear appeal, Kunsthalle Exnergasse, Vienna; everything became almost worse, KV Aschaffenburg; Bitzu Brauerei, Berlin; YBA, Gagosian Gallery, 4th Berlin Biennial, Berlin; 2005: Dorothea von Stetten Award 2004, Kunstmuseum Bonn; Fraktale 2005, Palast der Republik, Berlin.
Ebbe Stub Wittrupp (1973)
Solo shows 2007: Presumed Reality, Martin Asbæk Projects, Copenhagen; 2005: MEANWHILE NOW, Martin Asbæk Projects, Copenhagen; 2004: Things Happen, Galerie Asbæk, Copenhagen. Group shows 2008: Nordiske Stemninger, ARKEN – Museum for Moderne Kunst, Copenhagen; Here I Never Wander Alone, Co-Lab, Copenhagen; 2007: SUMMER IN THE CITY II, MAP Group Show – Martin Asbæk Projects, Copenhagen; Achtung – Kunst!, Collection of the National Museum of Photography, Copenhagen; Overgangen, Herlev, D; The Human Nature, Martin Asbæk Projects, Copenhagen; SPOR, Esbjerg Kunstmuseum, Denmark; New Photography from Denmark Fotofest Huston, Texas; New Adventures, Danish Cultural Institute, Beijing; 2006: New Adventures, Danish Photography and Video, Seoul; New Danish Photography, ASF, New York; Summer in the City, MAP Group Show – Martin Asbæk Projects, Copenhagen; The Open Book – The National Photography Museum, Copenhagen; NuHerAldrigMer, Den Frie Udstillingsbygning, D; 2005: Gæstfrihed, Den Frie Udstillingsbygning, D; Efterårsudstillingen, Charlottenborg, D; Danish Photography, Faulcener Gallery, Iowa; Martin Asbæk Projects, Group Show, Copenhagen; 2004: Fotografi 2004 – Kopenhagen, Copenhagen; Forårsudstillingen, Charlottenborg, Copenhagen; 2003: Young Danish Photography – Photographic Centre, Copenhagen.