CLAUDIA LARCHER | FAUX TERRAIN
(Artist space Bildraum Bodensee and the Lisi Hämmerle Gallery present works by the artist, June 2016)

 

For her solo exhibition in the Bregenz artist space, the Vienna-based artist from Vorarlberg, Claudia Larcher, presents a panorama of her latest work. Under the title FAUX TERRAIN, she combines different, intertwined and yet autonomous, individual artistic work. She combines videos, collages, photographs, objects, location-specific installations and interventions, and constructs an obscure landscape perspective in which different image surfaces flow into each other in a dialogue with the space.

The artist's works are generated by different themes. The choice of medium varies, her approach remains mostly the same regardless: she produces, gathers, disassembles, separates, reflects, assigns, expands, compresses, distorts, transforms, focuses, details, links, reconstructs, mounts, and reproduces.

Following an abstract cartography, Claudia Larcher creates a fragmented landscape for the exhibition that exceeds the limits of its scientific, geographical, or geological aspects. For the video installation In Between the Ocean (2014), she combines photographs of interiors in Tokyo with landscape photographs from thedisaster areas around Fukushima and Tohoku and thus reflects the impact of energy policies on the natural and urban environment. In the NIDA series of works (2015/2016), the artist explores the Lithuanian peninsula Neringa and the border between Europe and Russia. With an analytical look, she studies different shapes and characteristics of natural landscapes (Hakone, 2016) and organisms (RGB, 2013). People appear rarely in her work, and when they do they are only present on the basis of the traces they leave behind. In the video Self (2015), Larcher explores human skin in close-up. The seemingly familiar surface with all its details and features are mutated gradually into a surreal landscape. In a slow tracking shot, the interior and the exterior of the human body dissolve and form a fictional space, a faux terrain into which the viewer suddenly finds themselves projected.

Her collage works Panorama and Outsourced Domesticity (2013) form the starting point for another part of the exhibition route, which continues in the premises of the Lisi Hämmerle Gallery. Claudia Larcher's paper objects and architectural collages, which similar to the videos are based on the assembly principle, are layers of page fragments from selected architectural magazines. Different architectural elements are released, assembled, and layered on top of each other. She deals with the aesthetics of the materials and the shape and movement of different constructions and combines exquisite relics of interior and exterior views, details, aerial photographs, and plans of various buildings to generate new structures to create urban utopias. In the "Showcase" constructed specially for the exhibition at the Lisi Hämmerle Gallery, excerpts from the collage series Builder and MIES - Moins est Plus can be seen. Inside the gallery, a 25 metre curtain forms a walkable architectural landscape of fragments from Mies van der Rohe buildings.

Using abstraction, exaggeration, and alienation, Claudia Larcher stages habitats, architectural landscapes, and natural formations as utopian and dystopian scenarios. Her works, which due to their irritating attention to detail appear as lifelike copies of real world events, are in fact multifaceted and complex artistic constructs that blur the line between reality and fiction and create room for other possible realities. FAUX TERRAIN - Claudia Larcher leads visitors to the exhibition to a simultaneity of reality and imagination, somewhere between nature and artifice. Exactly at the threshold of the Here and Elsewhere, the interior and the exterior are sealed together. In a non-place, on this side, the other side, both strange and familiar, where the viewer is constantly called upon to question their relationship with the world, their representations, and their own perception.

text by Yvonne Rüscher