Michael Gumhold -- [: The : Complete : Rehearsal : Room : Recordings :]
Ozzy Osbourne, Floorpieces, Bruce Nauman, Moonwalk, The Sculpture Group, Marcel Breuer, Altamont, roue de bicyclette … the complex system of references of the 31-year old artist Michael Gumhold does not hold back from any icon of music, art, or design history. Unhesitatingly, he grabs from the treasure chest of our memories and exposes the archive in our minds. He dissects, disassembles, repeats, creates new associations and provides routes to follow in his semiotic-visual universe. Gumhold links associational chains of quotations that do not remain mere references, but become starting points for aesthetic reformulations. Artists of a cut-and-mix generation such as Michael Gumhold move quite confidently in a dense network of linguistic, acoustic, formal, and visual information. Their artistic practice is characterized by the carefree way in which they place the already familiar in unexpected contexts and thus question them anew. The shift of aspects of meaning, from high to low, original unique object to recontextualized copy, is quite conscious and intentional.
In so doing, the trained sculptor Michael Gumhold proves to be an astutely ironic specialist of sampling. His rough material aesthetic and expressive gesture are directly borrowed from the event-like characters of music, especially from hard rock. In his Rehearsal : Room installations, familiar apparatuses from the realm of music, such as instruments, microphones, or amplifiers are taken from their original functional context and find their existence as sculptures in the sign system of art—a drum made of an empty oil can and wood boards, sound proofing walls made of egg cartons, or reconstructions of microphones studded with nails. The music itself remains silent, but its revolutionary potential, its affective immediacy and performative power are brought to the exhibition situation.
The memories of the acoustic remain present in the visual and Michael Gumhold, following his own logic, provides additional paths when in the current exhibition [: The : Complete : Rehearsal : Room : Recordings :] they are linked to the reference system of art. Standing before his work Moonwalk a Carl Andre Floor Piece Wood Maquette we almost think we can here the sound caused by the sliding of our sneakers in doing the dance step, made famous by Michael Jackson, on a dance floor piece by Carl André. The backwards movement imitates the movement that we carry out to read the text on the maquette before us. Nonetheless, everything remains a model and is only made complete in our minds through the activation of our memory archives. Or don’t we think of Bruce Nauman when we look at Phil as we pass through the narrow corridor of cassettes „Walls of Sounds“, and inescapably the rhythm of the Ramones’ cover version “Baby I Love You” comes to mind?
The overall conception of Michael Gumhold’s Complete Recordings follows the principles of intersection, displacement, and condensation of remembered components. Each individual element in this system of mutual reference becomes a player, a member in the overall arrangement of the sampler. The Sculpture Group. On Stage. TONIGHT.