Hans Kupelwieser and Antique Carpets

25th February- 23th March 2013

Mirrors and carpets have numerous significations apart from their function as magnificent room interiors. They themselves are in close relation to the room. The carpet is, in the end, an imagination of space – space for prayer and life; space within and without. It represents an early form of virtual reality. As does the mirror, one of the earliest images, which, like the shadow, was not manmade but already present in nature. It depicts its surroundings and in doing so creates a kind of virtual reality.

Hans Kupelwieser’s work, as a matter of principle, resides between the real world of the material and the sculpture, and the illusionistic world of photography and the image. In this exhibition, Kupelwieser attempts to fuse antique carpets and mirrors in photography. The specular sculptures, with their uneven surfaces, distort the surroundings and create new, warped, or rather segmented, spatial structures. One could describe this as an analogue, process-giving rise to virtual spheres in real space. Suddenly, one is dealing not just with layers of craftwork, sculpture and photography, but also of architecture. Simultaneously, Kupelwieser’s installations consolidate ostensible contradictions into a unit, which in turn could be read as image or sculpture but also as an architectural problem.

Hans Kupelwieser’s installation consists of two sculptures with reflective, irregularly crinkled surfaces, of antique carpets and of photographs. Here, as in other places before, the artist intervenes directly in his surroundings, allowing them to become part of his artistic calculus. Its reception can be imagined in different ways. It depends on the viewpoint – is it photography, sculpture, architecture, installation art, and is it not also compatible with the conception and function of a carpet? A highly complex intellectual game is created with seemingly simple means here – a laboratory of perception.

Günther Holler-Schuster