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to | da y to morr ow

February 2, 2024 - February 16, 2024

HELDENREIZER Contemporary is pleased to present to | da y to morr ow, a group exhibition of works by Julian Shreddy Elbel, Ju Young Kim, and René Stiegler. The works of Shreddy Elbel, Kim, and Stiegler are interconnected through the vivisection of the self and self-observation within the context of the inevitability of existence. With their existentialist-influenced art, they bridge the gap between pathos and poetry, construction and authenticity, as well as conformity and aesthetic existence, and between conformity and aversion. The human body, the "inner" journey, or the moment of alienation are recurring motifs evident in the artists' photographs and installations.


Julian Shreddy Elbel (*2003, Munich) develops his artistic practice along the coordinates of space, time, and body. His photographs are performatively staged self-portraits, exposing the absurdity of human existence and our being thrown into the world. Defenselessly exposed, rebelling and resigning against the overwhelming power of the blurred space, Elbel portrays himself as a prisoner in the expansive photo installation Ecke (2023/24). Condemned to continuously define, depict, and design himself in a multidimensional spatial construct that is only provisionally held together, Elbel encounters himself within this vague spatial structure, standing on his head, with his back to the wall, lying on the floor, or turned away from everything, pushed into a corner. Elbel fragmentarily assembles the monochrome photo installation from numerous square image carriers and geometrically grids the space. The resulting supposed symmetrical order is juxtaposed with two overlapping spatial realities using the sandwich exposure technique. Thus, Elbel creates a dichotomously organized space where body and space, chaos and order, self-determination and heteronomy, power and powerlessness dynamically confront each other in the struggle for hegemony. In Julian Shreddy Elbel's art, space becomes an entity that plays a decisive role in self-perception and the experience of one's own person. With recurring symbols such as the lily or the (prayer) carpet, Elbel encircles religious and allegorical references, examining their contemporary significance and setting accents between deadly serious self-questioning and ironic objectification, eccentricity and existentialism.


René Stiegler (*1991, Wagna), based in Vienna, develops mystical, sometimes scenic installations and objects using a wide range of materials. These oscillate between the organic and the artificial, the archaically natural and the culturally obsolete, within their formal tension between various materials. In his artistic practice, Stiegler addresses the inner conflicts, fears, and uncertainties that characterize human existence in the face of current social, political, and ecological challenges. He imbues his works with symbols of transience and builds them on formal, material, and perception-based paradoxes, giving them the character of a vanitas representation and inviting viewers to contemplate the ephemerality of their own existence. This is evident in works such as Gibbet #1 (2023), where bone-like structures, snaking like intertwined calyxes, dominate the installation's appearance. Connected only by a slack, lifelessly hanging cable, the compositional structure and materiality evoke associations of a dead organism. "Gibbet" also appears to be parasitically connected to the architecture but has long been lifeless, extinguished in the act of invasion. The morbid impression is reflected in the title "Gibbet," derived from the English word "gibbeting," which describes the use of a gallows-like structure to publicly display the dead or dying bodies of criminals as a deterrent.


The motif of the journey as an expression of self-exploration and the search for personal identity and meaning runs like a common thread through the oeuvre of Ju Young Kim (*1991, Seoul, South Korea). Using materials such as ceramics, glass, metal, plastic, and organic substances, Kim creates landscape-like installations, collages, and objects. Formally characterized by the incorporation of components and objects from the travel industry, such as the interior lining of a commercial airplane or flight navigation charts, Kim's works also employ transparency, opalescence, and luminescence to create spatial and atmospheric qualities. These allow viewers a multifaceted approach to the sensation of vastness and landscape. This aesthetic intensification, subtly sending the audience on a journey, is also found in the glass box objects of the series The unlocated slice of the Sea. Forming a self-contained space, the works convey a seamless transition between interior and exterior spaces through the glass surfaces, provoking the perception of an expanded landscape. Additionally, a blue color spectrum, reminiscent of aerial perspectives and interrupted only by metal drippings and printed geometric structures, enriches the visual experience. Upon closer inspection, these structures reveal themselves as fragments of an air navigation map. The unlocated slice of the sea thus presents itself as a spatial section of an undefined place – an "unknown piece of sea," as the title emphasizes. It is a subtle metaphor for a once open and unexplored world where the settings of many myths and legends were located, significantly shaping our collective and individual identity. However, in a fully developed and colonized world, this has changed – the once unknown and unreachable places that offered rich metaphorical landscapes for engaging with the self, the inner world, and the unfathomable aspects of human existence have diminished, become more manageable, narrower, or disappeared altogether.


February 2, 2024 -February 16, 2024

Türkenstr. 32, 80333 Munich

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