|Gregor Schneider| Cube Venice
|Gregor Schneider has always been interested in the relationship between constructed and individual space. He reproposes the ‘Cube Venice 2005’ project presented for the 51st Venice Biennale, here with a new display positioning; the work was refused by the Biennale as it was believed to be potentially dangerous in terms of the political reactions that it might have aroused.
Cube Venice consists of a large, black, geometric sculpture, without an accessible entrance, resting on a base of 12x13 metres and standing some 14 metres, and it was designed to be anchored to the ground in St. Mark’s Square. The awe inspired by such an enigmatic and impenetrable volume is rooted in the artist’s reflections on the space of the Ka'ba, key site of Mecca for the Islamic faith.
Yet the project is far from being a mere architectural reproduction. The great volume is in fact designed to be a sculpture made up of different materials serving a different purpose; and yet given its positioning in the light of the global events and unrest of recent years, the work is full of the tension resulting from its being an object linked to the traditions of modern Western art, one that searches for a primordial form going beyond the natural image, and the reflection of a place of worship for millions of Muslims. This mystic tension is where the object and space come together, and where perhaps two different worlds might find common ground.
A work like this is ideally placed in a city like Venice, which has always served as a meeting point for art and culture between East and West.
The exhibition created by the German artist brings together 3-D presentations, models, photographs, drawings which document the creative process and the meaning underlying the Cube Venice project, throughout the various stages of its development. A great installation designed especially for the display area introduces the spectator to the idea of an enclosed space, an empty space: both unsettling and mystical at the same time. Furthermore, video and sculpture works will connect the Venice Cube 2005 project to other works by the artist such as his renown Haus u r (1986), the Weisse Folter projects in Dusseldorf, as well as Black Dead End in Naples, 2006 and 2007 respectively.
From the age of 16, Gregor Schneider (born in Rheydt in 1969) has been transforming the interior of the home he inherited from his father in the small town of Rheydt, Germany. A work in progress until 2007, he has constantly added new rooms, separated others, removed mod-cons, and blocked up windows, adding fake ones in their place. The result is a labyrinthine structure which he has entitled Haus ur (House ur). Occasionally, visitors are invited to spend the night there and share his personal space. In the 1990s he began to identically replicate parts of the house in museums and galleries. He moved Haus ur to the German pavilion at the 2001 Venice Biennale, constructing a maze of dark and disconcerting rooms, each of which opens onto stairs, strange passageways and cul-de-sacs which visitors must wander, alone, before emerging from the house to freedom. This work, Totes Haus ur (Dead House ur), was awarded the Golden Lion. With Die Familie Schneider (The Schneider Family, London, 2004), Gregor Schneider began to detach himself from Haus ur to create other, more complex spaces that were derived from his first work. The opening at the Bevilacqua La Masa follows a day after that of the solo exhibition Gregor Schneider will hold at the MACRO in Rome, which is focused of rooms outside the Haus u r project, The artist will present different doubled rooms and sculptures in the completely black exhibition rooms. The bathroom and bedroom of the twin house DIE FAMILIE SCHNEIDER built in London 2004 and the doubled cells of the secret Camp V in Guantanamo Bay will be shown, in line with Gregor Schneider’s recent interest in spaces of social relevance.
Gregor Schneider was born in 1969 in Rheydt, Germany.
Cube Venice 2005
51 Mostra Internazionale d'Arte Biennale di Venezia
© Gregor Schneider
FONDAZIONE BEVILACQUA LA MASA