Imagine the subject, surrounded but by himself. Who is this self you might ask? Perhaps in this case the subject is constructed out of architectural and programmatic devices, exhibition props and navigational tools, presentation models and established perspectives. Is he mimicking his context or becoming an extension of it? Does he fade in the wake of his surrounding? In a way, yes, but not truly, he acknowledges the environment while his constituting elements become unstable categories throughout time. He shifts the registers and the material is not to be trusted. A fancy game? No, it is rather a way of understanding oneself from a 360 degree perspective. A form of holistic self-reflection? It depends, but irrespective don’t forget that the subject carries its environment within itself.
Salon decor is an extension of Portrait of a wall (projected forward from before it was going to be removed but then wasn’t) a contribution by artist Edgar Schmitz to the exhibition Practising habits of the day curated by FormContent at the Institute of Contemporary Art Singapore (12 February – 13 April 2016) including the work of Kray Chen, Latifa Echakhch, Jos de Gruyter & Harald Thys, Thủy Tiên Nguyễn, Gary-Ross Pastrana and Laure Prouvost. Edgar Schmitz was invited to engage with remnants of the ICA’s previous exhibition, and developed a contextual response that considered his remote position. He employed the previous show traces to imagine the potential of exhibitions before and beyond their present state, embracing this past as ground for anticipation and future scenarios.
In relation to Edgar Schmitz’s contribution, the exhibition comprises a series of elements:
• An audio piece with an extract of the sound of the previous exhibition to be listened by the visitor while navigating the current show Practicing habits of the day.
• A yellow wall structure part of Marguerite Humeau’s installation Black Mamba (2015) from the previous show Beaneath the moon/Sous la lune.
• A set of instructions by the artist asking FormContent to create a portrait of the yellow wall, by recording it on a 3D camera throughout the installation time and opening of the exhibition.
endnotes Salon decor
• re Udo: Udo Kier is Hans in My Own Private Idaho (directed by Gus Van Sant, 1991), and The Wedding Planner in Melancholia (directed by Lars von Trier, 2011)
• re Scotty and Mike: Scott Favor (Keanu Reeves) and Mike Waters (River Phoenix) are hustlers in My Own Private Idaho (directed by Gus Van Sant, 1991). Mike is Narcoleptic
Edgar Schmitz (born Dortmund, Germany, 1968; lives in London)
Edgar Schmitz is an artist who produces escapist backdrops from film, sculpture, animation and writing. His work has been presented in national and international group exhibitions including London Movies, Bozar, Brussels; A.C.A.D.E.M.Y, Vanabbemuseum, Eindhoven; Steirischer Herbst, Graz; No Soul for Sale, Tate Modern, London; In The Days of The Comet, British Art Show 7, Hayward Touring, and has been the focus of solo exhibitions at. ICA, London (with Liam Gillick); FormContent, London; Cooper Gallery, Dundee, and Himalayas Art Museum, Shanghai amongst others. He has also written extensively on contemporary art, with contributions to Kunstforum international, Texte zur Kunst and artforum as well as contemporary, tema celeste and numerous catalogue essays.