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Still! - Christian Gude, Stanislaus Müller-Härlin, Claudia Ohmert

Media Art Master of Arts 2004, Carl von Ossietzky University Oldenburg
27 August 2004 - 05 September 2004
Opening: 27 August 2004, 20:00
Stillness, the still-life and the photographic still are the connecting "still” elements in the work of the first three graduates of the Media Art Master of Arts program at the Carl von Ossietzky University Oldenburg. With his surround sound installation, Christian Gude creates a tactile and acoustic moor concert. The "dog and dog owner" photographs are the basis of fictional biographies Claudia Ohmert developed for her project. Stanislaus Müller-Härlin picks up the idea of the still-life in a media garden he planted at both the university and the Edith Russ Site for Media Art. The graduate program these young artists have completed is interdisciplinary and project oriented. The potential for the electronic aspects of art, music and textiles is integrated by the program and its profile is clearly recognized in this exhibition at the Edith Russ Site for Media Art.

IN EARTH – three symphonic sketches of the moor by Christian Gude is an acoustic installation on moor landscapes. The work is made of an acoustic core and additional visual part to produce a balance between the acoustic and visual senses. It moves between a radio play, a piece of music and an installation, and is conceived for the listener as a concert. Sounds, music as well as high and low German are dealt with equally.
In an allusion to the "inner stage" of the radio plays of the 50s, Gude builds a visual stage for the visitor out of peat, in which heavy wooden planks have been laid as footbridges. The space is surrounded by a circle of white material hanging from the ceiling. This visual and acoustic arrangment sets the stage for an imaginary moor landscape in the listening viewer mind. The surrounding curtain becomes a projection space for inner images.

Stanislaus Müller-Härlin, "The Secret Garden" (2004)The Secret Garden by Stanislaus Müller-Härlin connects the half-public space of the Carl von Ossietzky University to the Edith Russ Site for Media Art. A garden, planted at the university, cared for and observed by many, meets its end in the exhibition. The university's Prince Garden is a square surrounded by a wooden walkway with grass, some gravel, and a stone torso at the back. The basic order of a French garden can be recognized, yet the execution of this undertaking is imperfect – the center is off and the hand of an amateur is recognizable. Flowers that bloom in August were planted in The Secret Garden.
During the growth period, a little wooden shack appears behind the plants at the university. A light goes on after dark and the turning pages of a book can be heard. This semi-public space is offered as a retreat for anyone who wishes to use it.
The growing plants were taped on video from a fixed camera position for one minute each day in order to produced a video, which will be shown in the midst of the flowers cut from the garden and placed in the exhibition hall as a withered field. When the exhibition begins the Prince Garden will be plowed back into its original state.

Claudia Ohmert, "Edith und Pakko" (2004)Claudia Ohmert's work Mazzini's World refers to the character Joseph Mazzini from the novel Terrors of Ice and Darkness by Christoph Ransmayr. What the author has his characters think and do in the novel's (partially) fictive world is realized in a project that combines photography, video technology and literature. It is based on the idea that fiction is always in the past and in the present it can merely be searched for.
Fictive biographies of people with dogs were invented based on the questionnaires Ohmert asked people who were walking their dogs to fill out. She then staged and photographed their apartments based on her conclusions from the surveys. The fictive biographies and photographs are presented in the exhibition across from the real biographies and photographs of the real apartments. Ohmert looks into the strangers' lives and apartments in order to check if the reality of the situation matches up with what has been invented. The visitor follows this as he or she starts to view and compare both stories. But the image is watching back! A tiny surveillance camera is installed in a portrait's eye that records the viewer from the perspective of the observed portrait. These recordings will be the basis of a later project.
Edith-Russ-Haus for Media Art, Katharinenstraße 23, D-26121 Oldenburg, Tel.: +49(0)441/235-3208, Fax.: +49(0)441/235-2161
Opening Hours: Tuesday - Friday 14:00 -18:00, Saturday - Sunday 11:00 - 18:00, Monday closed
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Stadt Oldenburg