Sep 3 - Oct 7, 2005

Baldur Burwitz DÜMPELN

For the exhibition „dümpeln“ ("bobbing"), the gallery has become, on a superficial level, an easily graspable field of experience. Floating in a 30 cm deep pool, a pedalo in the shape of a swan invites the visitor to climb in and enjoy a small trip.

Following the exhibition „Kollisiondiskurs“, where the artist drove a standard bumper car through the narrow space of a Hamburg gallery, and the work „Haltungsschaden“, where a stair lift for people with physical difficulties allowed the visitor to pass through a hole in the wall made especially for the purpose, „dumpeln“ is a further installation by Baldur Burwitz which combines absurd performance and a distinct reminiscence of the (more or less practical) activities carried out daily. A contrast also exists between the extravagant installation and the small yield arising from this painstaking investment. One thing, though, seems certain. It’s a case of an interactive form of art, where the viewer should assist in the reception of the work, in this case to climb in and take a ride. Nevertheless the artist puts a stop to any straightforward assumptions. The swan bobs in the water far from the visitor who walks through the gallery on firm planks. Only someone accepting the difficult task of climbing into the water is able to confirm their own assumptions.

Baldur Burwitz is an artist of negation and contradiction. What is normal becomes nonsense, an experience offered is then almost prevented, known parameters (interactive art invites one to get involved) are abandoned, a lot of effort is made for little effect. The artist puts us in doubt – with straightforward actions as much as with normal expectations, and where we expect certainty we get a feeling of insecurity. The installation „dümpeln“, which is initially simple to grasp, turns out to be a lingering malcontent, which only a sense of absurdity and a good dose of humour overcomes.

Nina Koidl