Gregor Hildebrandt
Ein Wimpernschlag und hinter uns die Stunden
24.Feb–14.Apr 2022
Wentrup Gallery, Berlin

A large clinker-bricked gateway leads onto the grounds of Gregor Hildebrandt's studio. On the left side of the facade, an old company signet with the inscription "Groterjan. Malzbierbrauerei Groterjan & Co. Aktiengesellschaft" reminds of the industrial past of the building. The artist reproduced this round bronze plaque in the manner typical of his work from analog data carriers - in this case, vinyl records. It matches the dimensions and proportions of the Groterjan sign and is the centerpiece of the exhibition.

Right next to the work Groter Jan (2022), the artist presents 73 cut vinyl records. These framed records are the remains from the production of the central vinyl records. Deciphering the individually cut fragments, they form the hidden, shadowy counterpart of the Groter Jan piece. Moreover, they represent a system of archiving, entirely in the sense of an invisible field of a represented world.

On the opposite side of the gallery space hangs a framed white rectangle. What at first glance appears to be a blank sheet of paper grows beyond its own penetrating power upon closer inspection. Human eyelashes are precisely positioned on the paper and carefully glued on, express Wishes (2015) by the artist. If one loses an eyelash, at least one person always advises to please make a wish when blowing it away.

Immediately adjacent, Hildebrandt presents Gone with the Wind (2022), a work made from VHS videotapes. The magnetic tapes serve the artist beyond their function as a storage medium as an artistic medium, and they are recorded with the 1939 film of the same name by Victor Flemings. Gregor Hildebrandt playfully links aspects of his personal world of experience with milestones of film history and thus with the collective cultural memory.

A black granite slab hangs on the gallery's exterior façade. Similar to the company signet on the artist's studio, this is placed on the left side of the entrance area. The motif shows Hildebrandt sitting on a bicycle with a stretcher under his arm. The photo was taken in the backyard of the studio building mentioned above. It was used as a motif of the invitation card of Gregor Hildebrandt's solo exhibition “7 auf einen Streich” at the Kunstverein Heppenheim in 2016.

In the staircase of Wentrup II, the column The Figurehead (2022), designed from corrugated vinyl records stacked on top of each other, leads to the exhibition space on the second floor. In the Wentrup II space, the artist shows works on canvas made using his signature rip-off technique. In contrast to Hildebrandt's black- and-white rip-offs, the brush ductus in the colored paintings is multiplied by several underlying layers of color. In these works, too, another invisible dimension is added to Hildebrandt's visually vivid surfaces by an extra layer of cinematographic 'prehistory' on the VHS tapes. Another colored vinyl column refers to Francois Morellet's 1956 work Du Jaune au Violet.

Text: Jan Fischer