© Christoph Bruckner
,o.T.’, 2011, Linoldruck, 100 x 90 cm
courtesy of the Ve.Sch
In “Broken Play” at the Ve.Sch, Christoph Bruckner’s work as curated by Franz Zar incites a conversation on quantifiable merit and the operation of an imbedded artist persona. Pointedly hanging pieces with ample white wall and selectively placing works on the floor, as is the case of DVD as a Fireplace and Untitled, a piece of MDF board, the installation treats the space with a presently normative approach of directing constructions to generate concentrated reflection on work. Within which, Bruckner applies irony by subverting the expectations of abstraction and highlighting its potential as a means of representation.
One large hanging work is composed of Rorschach-like yellow stains made of urine. The urine, applied evenly across the canvas makes a uniform composition and surface. This flippant attachment to formal abstraction is likewise evident in a single linocut, Untitled, 2011. Here Bruckner uses a black and white print to reproduce the appearance of his floorboards marked after heavy use under the feet of a chair. The image in the linocut shows markings that could also result through a nonrepresentational process-based abstraction composed of pulls and removals. In that Bruckner does not craft the forms of his work, he applies quotations entailing a direct likeness to abstraction. Bruckner simultaneously undermines deep-seated notions of abstraction all the while crediting pure composition with value. Thereby intending for his imagery to be seen through the perception of abstraction while conveying a dissent of that structure.
“Broken Play,” imparts Bruckner’s practice as an outgrowth of a narrative of his persona. Evidenced by the print off his own floor, in the treatment of all of his single unmatched socks, in a portion of flooring from his apartment, as well as in works not directly marked as being from Bruckner’s life per se, but eliciting a sense of his type of existence. The latter includes such works as Untitled, made of two white ceramic bowls whose surfaces are covered in stainless steel silverware marks after having long functioned as eating vessels. Also, hanging on a wall is a plaid cotton shirt stretched with arms draping on the sides. These works refer to the visual systems of abstraction which he plays off and also proves the result of his personal narrative and practice of employing readymades.
Beyond the script of singularly being an art maker, Bruckner shows that he is the causation of his work. Effectively, he inspires his own practice as his very own existence results in the found objects that he utilizes. By no means the first or last artist to analyze his/her own existence for the means of art production, Bruckner’s work strikingly bears no signs of grandeur. His manner is purposely succinct and shows little trace of rigor or strictness. In this way, Bruckner successfully frames the individuality of his existence as a metaphor of a collective psyche.
Underscoring the understated, Bruckner careful maintains a low frequency range of colors. The DVD of the blazing fire comes across dulled through a TV monitor just as the use of blood-warming foods like goulash and curry are only evidenced in left over light reddish stains on canvas. Aptly titled, “Broken Play” uses the exhibition rooms like a theatrical stage focusing on the leading role, namely that of Bruckner playing himself.
– Ezara Spangl
17.02.2012 – 09.03.2012