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Unfolding 2016, site-specific installation in Galerie der Gegenwart Münster
dry construction wall, 4 fans, sand
Photos: LWL/Hanna Neander

“In her site-specific works Effrosyni Kontogeorgou deeply immerses herself in the nature, function and history of spaces. Her practice is formally determined by interrelationships between differing media and materials, as is likewise the case for the exhibition “Unfolding”. The artist has developed a large-scale installation specifically for the space in Münster, comprising sculptural elements, together with a projection and technical components.

In the entrance area to the Galerie der Gegenwart visitors initially encounter the video installation “A Thought of Flying” (2015). A sheet of paper, attached to the wall, being moved by a draft of air, seems repeatedly on the verge of falling down. Where is the draft coming from? The work focuses on perceptions of the space, on the principles of its structural engineering, as well as the conditions informing the framework for the professional display of exhibits. In terms of conservation, air-conditioning in the Galerie der Gegenwart is different to that of the rest of the museum, namely in the use of a flow of warm air from grills set in the floor. The flow of air is even physically perceptible.

Leaving the steps behind and entering the actual space, it becomes apparent that it is unusually narrow and long. The artist has inserted an additional wall, dividing the volume of the space. This change in porpotions results in a foregrounding of the dimensions of the space, and above all its length. Our attention is shifted towards proportions of scale, interrelations and movement, our entire awareness focusing on the existent as well as the integrated architecture. The entrance to a completely dark, tube-like passage is located at the far end of the space, in which a genuine wind is blowing. In an analogy to the virtual movement of air in the projection of the piece of paper at the beginning of the exhibition, the draft of air is now physically evident. Contracting the concept of making objects and images visible in a museum, here instead complete darkness reigns. Hands search for a hold on the wall, eyes only slowly accustom themselves to the darkness. At the end of the space, the ground suddenly changes, feet slightly sinking into a floor of sand, our progress is hindered and the space comes to an end. Here the artist is referencing a specific feature of the building's architecture, which she learned about during conversations about the museum. In the basement of the building there is a hollow space which was completely filled with sand, probably to bolster the supporting structure of the old building's foundations, and is consequently unusable.

“Unfolding” then also becomes a reference to inaccessible, thus mysterious spaces. In the installation, Effrosyni Kontogeorgou foregrounds the perceptions of the visitor, focussing the attention of our visual apparatus, by partially disabling it.”

Marijke Lukovicz, Curator Contemporary Art, LWL Museums für Kunst und Kultur, Münster