PETER KOGLER   ||   Project by Friederike Nymphius
September 11 – 30. Januar 2021

The influential Viennese media artist Peter Kogler shows the installation EYES ONLY, for which he also uses a 3D LED fan for the first time. The artist, who teaches graphics at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich, is internationally renowned for his computer animations, video projections, and illusionistic as well as real spatial labyrinths that animate and redefine architecture.

Using computer-set, digitally printed paper webs and a projection generated by a 3D LED fan, Peter Kogler transforms the only 2.4 m² gallery space into a showcase of so much attraction. Curved lines along the walls, ceiling and floor strive towards a hologram-like, free-floating eye, which, like the human one, is constantly in slight motion. The overall picture appears like a modern icon, which triggers a wide range of associations in the viewer, ranging from the illusion of the private sphere, through the public Big Brother level to the meta-level of the divine eye.
EYES ONLY demands the viewer’s undivided attention: The staging can be grasped with one look. Nevertheless, it demands the human perceptive faculty to the utmost, while the small gallery space is extended to its extremes. With its neutral colour palette of black, grey and white, it creates volume and movement from the surface. The result is a space that is both real and simulated, in which there is no fixed local anchorage except for the fixed point of the LED projection. Peter Kogler generally does not use the central perspective for such projects, since it offers the visitor too few possibilities to experience his immersive installations in their entirety. The situation at EYES ONLY is quite different, if only because of the general conditions: the spatial separation between the viewer and art created by the window intensifies the central perspective as if with a burning glass, thus emphasizing the direct focus on the eye, which nevertheless remains unreachable. In this way, the installation oscillates between illusionary expanse and real limitation as well as between intimacy and distance, entirely in keeping with our times.In his stagings, which are often underlaid with sound and reminiscent of futuristic film settings, the artist deals with questions of spatial perception in a hybrid intermediate area between sculpturally defined wall surface and pictorially defined architecture. Subcontexts such as new media, sound and design play an essential role in this. Against this background it is important to understand EYES ONLY as an “over all” staging. With this project, Peter Kogler also confirms his role as a pioneer for the current young generation of artists, who no longer want to see themselves exclusively as artists, musicians or designers, but are at home in the crossover of these disciplines.

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