Sep 11 2010 – Nov 06 2010

Press Release

Wilma Tolksdorf gallery presents a new work group of the artist Beat Streuli in its Berlin space which signalises a change in the artist's practice. In the current photographs and the two video-installations of the years 2009/2010 Streuli shifts his focus away from the close-up view of urban flaneurs, the city-portraits of anonymous men and women on the street, with which he has made his name well known, towards the hard physical, material arrangement of the urban space- in this case towards the cars and their drivers that are caught in a traffic jam. With the zoom on the glistening, smooth, metallic surfaces of the cars he captures the drivers unnoticed behind of their steering wheel- they are predominantly in a state of stagnation and contemplatively waiting while they are caught in the city traffic.

Together these photographs form a dysfunctional choreography of vehicles, an industrial "ballet mécanique" of slowly moving mechanical monoliths, while simultaneously being a distillation of the normal and omnipresent, still very special moments of everyday life. The human subject, which represents a significant theme of the artist's work, doesn't disappear, even though it becomes less transparent and is transported into a greater distance when hidden behind reflecting windows or concealed by the surrounding metallic body of the car. The portray of the single person is not the centre of attention anymore but rather the corresponding society: the human being in public space.

As a meticulous observer of everyday life Streuli emphasises the particular form and physical characteristics of the surface and places the subject beneath the concept of texture. At the same time the artist plays with the different connotations of the car in itself - from the symbol for status and object of fetish it stands for to the symbol for masculinity. The cars function as a mirror as well as a monitor. Altogether these images depict a generic portray of inanimate objects and structures, which shape the modern megalopolis. They simultaneously build an indication for the latent hostility and the aggressive character of the big city and its capacity of causing human alienation. Streuli's abstract image sequences and video works refer to the tougher sides of urban reality by capturing the constriction of a large city and the feeling of oppression while pointing to its easily overlooked formal beauty.

Beat Streuli was born 1957 in Altdorf/ Switzerland. His contemporary portrays of society were shown in numerous international solo- and group exhibitions and are represented in important collections worldwide. Beat Streuli lives and works in Zürich/ Switzerland.
Installation View streuli_coverbild.jpg BEAT STREULI 2010-09-11 - 2010-11-06
Installation View

Installation ViewInstallation ViewInstallation ViewPorte de Ninove 07/08 (88_0776), 2010Porte de Ninove 07/08 (88_0901), 2010Porte de Ninove 07/08 (88_3728), 2010Porte de Ninove 07/08 (88_9105), 2010Porte de Ninove 09 (100_6023), 2010Porte de Ninove 09 (100_5916), 2010Cars, 2010Quai de l´Industrie 09, 2010