Gallery Hopping: Florian Auer’s Silent Listening Room at Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler

The German artist created a surreal visual environment inspired by immersive sound.

An immersive sound environment rendered only with visual cues: this is the premise behind Florian Auer’s current show at Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler in Berlin. “Complex Harmonic Motion” is the German artist’s third solo exhibition with the gallery, who originally gained traction for settling into a “Post-Internet” niche.

The seven works in “Complex Harmonic Motion” attempt to translate the idea of immaterial, omnidirectional sound into a silent, physically spatial experience. In a press release, the installation is called “an environment as brainwave entertainment,” where works are “directed towards a space for mental resonance,” and the whole thing “stages the afterimage of a shared sound experience” aiming to widen the viewer’s senses, making them re-think their relationship to their environments.

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Florian Auer at Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler
Exhibition view of "Complex Harmonic Motion" at Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler, Berlin (2016). Photo by Gunter Lepkowski, courtesy the artist and Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler, Berlin.
Florian Auer at Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler
Exhibition view of "Complex Harmonic Motion" at Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler, Berlin (2016). Photo by Gunter Lepkowski, courtesy the artist and Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler, Berlin.
Florian Auer at Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler
Exhibition view of "Complex Harmonic Motion" at Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler, Berlin (2016). Photo by Gunter Lepkowski, courtesy the artist and Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler, Berlin.
Florian Auer at Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler
Florian Auer, Auditory Illusion (laser) (2016). Photo by Gunter Lepkowski, courtesy the artist and Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler, Berlin.
Florian Auer at Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler
Florian Auer, Semicircle (i-beam) I (2016). Photo by Gunter Lepkowski, courtesy the artist and Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler, Berlin.
Florian Auer at Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler
Florian Auer, Auditory Illusion (hand) (2016). Photo by Gunter Lepkowski, courtesy the artist and Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler, Berlin.
Florian Auer at Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler
Exhibition view of "Complex Harmonic Motion" at Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler, Berlin (2016). Photo by Gunter Lepkowski, courtesy the artist and Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler, Berlin.

It’s an ambitious, and esoteric, intention. But whether the sculptural installation can persuade viewers to engage in the intended thought experiment or not, it does present, at the very least, a series of engaging and enigmatic visual puzzles.

Looming overhead are five relief sculptures from 2016, each titled Auditory Illusion. They are 3-D-rendered human ears, fabricated from c-printed fabric, fiberglass, and resin, that appear shrink-wrapped onto aluminum sheets. Ghostly, disembodied hands, or shiny Photoshop abstractions, seem to be trapped inside. Visually alluding to industrial speakers as much as they do colorful oysters, it is an interesting exercise to think about what the Auditory Illusions might sound like.

On the floor, two sculptures, Semicircle (i-beam) I and II, allow for a more direct participatory interaction, reminiscent of the Zero Group’s experiments with light. Curved sheets of mirrored acrylic, balanced on top of acoustic foam, reflect warped distortions of the orderly texture that surrounds them. As one walks around the sculpture, the illusions morph and change.

“Complex Harmonic Motion” is as cold and alien as it is surreal and dreamlike.

Florian Auer, “Complex Harmonic Motion” is on view at Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler until November 19. 


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