Art above the clouds
October 18, 2015 – February 14, 2016

With the exhibition SKYWARDS the Museum Sinclair-Haus showcases contemporary art that unlocks the firmament, opening up the space above the clouds in a multitude of ways. The entire thematic cosmos that hovers between earth and eternity, between gravity and weightlessness can be seen in the paintings, drawings, photographs, installations, and video works on display. In a time when space is being conquered and made use of, artists are also looking to and drawing from this barely tangible sphere. The age-old human conflict between “having one's feet planted firmly on the ground” on the one hand and the drive to go “faster, further, higher” on the other was broached by Plato in his account of Thales of Miletus, and it is precisely this dichotomy that also plays a decisive role in the artistic works on display.

“They say that Thales fell into a well while studying the stars and gazing aloft, and a witty and amusing Thracian servant-girl made fun of him because he was so keen to know about what was up in the sky but failed to see what was behind him and next to his feet.”

Plato “Thales of Miletus”

Mischa Kuball, Five Planets, 2015

Gazing up into space is often linked to the search for oneself, and in the desire to position oneself as part of the greater whole. In other words, wanting to understand the macrocosmos also harbors the hope of better grasping our own world. The artworks presented in this exhibition have one thing in common: all of them are fragmented rapprochements to the infinite vastness of the cosmos. The spectator is thus given access to associative spaces in which the scientific image-repertoire we face daily is playfully made use of. The exhibition presents works ranging from visual traces of the 1969 moon landing to painterly reactions to the breathtaking shots produced by the Hubble Space Telescope. Natural phenomenons such as solar eclipses – which the media has marketed for the masses in recent times – also serve as inspiration for the artists. When the moon casts its shadow over the sun, and light and dark orchestrate a mighty chiaroscuro, man is but an extra, playing the minute role of a spectator faced with the power of nature.

Works on display by Hans Aichinger, Christoph Brech, Vija Celmins, Björn Dahlem, Douglas Gordon, David Krippendorff, Mischa Kuball, Robert Longo, Hiroyuki Masuyama, Maximilian Prüfer, Sven Reile, Peter Sauerer, Santeri Tuori, Brigitte Waldach, Julia Willms, and Bernd Zimmer.

The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue (€14) and a workbook (€10); buy both for €20.

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