Michaela Meise | Michaela Meise
KÖNIG GALERIE | Dessauerstrasse | 27.4.–26.5.2007
Press Release: 

KÖNIG GALERIE is pleased to present new works by Michaela Meise (born 1976). Meise’s objects and installations are usually simplified forms that serve as the basis for a far more elaborate structure. Her works rely on various different semantic systems and dissect these in the process. In this way, by dint of the formal exaggeration we are able to see them in a new light. The focus here is on the sensory and often body-based experience of space as well as on refined references from the history of art, architecture and sculpture, not to mention production relations in the art context.

The key work in the new show, entitled “Liegende 1-8” is made up of eight gold chains with fine links, with which Meise has fastened fragments of dark varnished wood of different sizes.These structures correspond to the already existing chains that hang from the ceiling of the exhibition space and hold the heating system. Depending on the length of the chain, the black wooden elements fit in with the gallery floor to create specific angles. This simple linkage enables Meise to explore the potential of sculptural balance in space – a topic that already played a central role in her last solo show at KÖNIG GALERIE.

On a pedestal with a white slab of marble she positions several mass-made door handles, each mounted on a colored wooden display. On the one hand, this form is typical of museum context, and, on the other, this resembles a row of commodities on offer, as is to be found in a boutique or department store. Repetition, the central theme of this appropriation of commodity culture, allies with the door handles at another level, too: By virtue of being mounted on displays, the door handles cease to be everyday objects and this allows for countless other interpretations.

A similar loss of function occurs with her “Treppe” (Staircase) piece. It consists of ten pieces of turquoise lacquered plywood that are positioned in an ascending series on the wall like a stair case, and thus have a presence they would never possess as pieces actually used. Along with the door handles, another element of everyday life thus enters the exhibition, one that has a place in the collective mind and likewise symbolizes a transitional area while pointing up the boundaries of the space.

Unlike these strictly geometrical structures, her work entitled “Zunge” (Tongue) presents an organic shape. Meise has in past shows already focused on various parts of the human body, for example the human brain, the heart and the eye. Here, thanks to its singular and out-sized presentation, the tongue becomes an icon of cultural coding, as it were – what remains unclear is for what coding, as different cultural circles accord the organ completely different meanings.

Michaela Meise studied at Städel Art Academy in Frankfurt and took part in the 4th Berlin Biennial. She has been represented by solo shows, among others, at Kunstverein Braunschweig and the Midway Center for Contemporary Art in Minneapolis. To date, two catalogs of her work have appeared.