Dan Graham : Dan Graham
25 March – 22 April 2006
The pavilion as an architectonic motif has been characteristic of Dan Graham’s work for many years. Constructed of few walls, these light architectonic structures form spaces. However, being made of semi-transparent materials, they allude to the openness that constitutes a singular quality of this genre of architecture. Graham uses this ambiguity for questions of architecture as opposed to nature, open and closed, hidden and in view, of seeing and being seen – questions that interest him in view of the person, the observer of his work.
In entering and walking through the pavilion, and through reflection in its mirrored surfaces, the exhibition visitor becomes, to some extent, the exhibit. In a refined puzzle, the relationship between exhibited piece and observer topples over. In his Berlin exhibition, Dan Graham approaches the classical boundary between art and architecture from two sides. The pavilion constructed in the gallery space functions as intermediary between the exhibit and the architecture of the exhibition. In contrast, with seven preliminary drawings for a proposed London boutique (for designer Liza Bruce), Graham presents as an exhibit the design of an interior that is, in fact, real and destined for use.
Born in 1942 in Urbana, Illinois and living and working in New York City, Dan Graham has attracted international attention since the mid-sixties. His performances, installations, video and film work, photographs as well as his glass pavilions have been shown in a number of venerable institutions, such as: the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Centre Pompidou in Paris and the National Museum of Modern Art in Tokyo and as part of documenta 7, 9 and 10 in Kassel and within the scope of Skulpturen Projekt ’87 and ’97 in Munich. Two further examples of Dan Graham’s pavilions are found in Berlin: one in front of the BEWAG building on Köpenickerstrasse, the other in the Hof der Kunstwerke (KW courtyard) in the Auguststrasse, which is set against the backdrop of Café Bravo.