ulrich polster - absence - photography, prototype, image and narcissus /by hajo schiff
Berlin based artist Ulrich Polster shows in his fifth solo show at Galerie Jocelyn Wolff moving and restaged images that mirror his recent Italy experience. As a guest in the hide away of German romantic Olevano Romano and triggered by the death of his mother, classical landscape and art became quiet an ambiguous and fractured observation in which beauty and sorrow meet. In between meditative film projection and interactive photography extensions up to existential image markers in a twin projection image experiences are challenged and enlarged. In the mirror of the self onto the discovered world, found and his own inner images mix and find their metaphysical suspension in a magically talking light installation.
captive in time /by matthias lindner
“The machine-gun-man on the … motorcycle.” The projection opens with words from the contemporary witness Arvo Iho, the only comprehensible speech in the video installation. The former intern on the set bears witness in this way to the starting point of Polster’s video – the former locations of Tarkovsky’s Stalker. In the course of the 40 minutes Polster will modify additional typical Tarkovsky scenes and ambiances/environments: the train trip and the waterfall, the large areas of fog, fire, landscapes full of ruins. For Tarkovsky the aesthetic point of departure was always the idea for a movie, the tale of a character with its insoluble captivity in time. He sought cinematic images which follow a poetic logic because they are based on observation: “In my view poetic reasoning is closer to the laws by which thought develops, and thus to life itself, than is the logic of traditional drama.” (Andrey Tarkovsky, Sculpting in Time, 1984, eng. University of Texas reprint 1986, p. 20)
going behind the images /by hajo schiff
Everything starts with an image – and it will also end with this image. What expands in between to a 39-minute 7-channel video projection is a stream of associations, interpretations and effects derived from it. An extremely subjective world of images carries you off, not unlike its cinematic model, Tarkovsky’s Stalker, after a train journey into a ZONE which can never be exactly comprehended behind the image and between the images. And there everything is not just what it appears to be. Strange explanations, rapid tracking shots and many quite, often idyllic moments carry us off into a world where the resigned weariness of knowing the score, of always having seen everything before is no longer valid, Because perception becomes questionable. What is it that is to be seen there?
dormant images /by claus löser
On 1 May 1981 of all days Andrei Tarkovsky‘s movie Stalker opened in some cinemas in the GDR. The news of this curious, cryptic, philosophical and in every respect unusual work spread like wildfire in the circles of people seeking ways out of the intellectual dilemma of everyday existence under really existing socialism. How was this possible? The fact that it was from the Soviet Union of all places that a film reached us that struck these hidden chords in us? Because the amazing thing was that we immediately felt at home in this apparently hermetically sealed world of the Zone. This was by no means because occasionally in common parlance the GDR was still called the Zone! This banal connection didn‘t even occur to us. Rather it appears as if through this film sentiments were formulated that had long slumbered within us, as if through the Stalker more or less dormant images were being awakened. It is quickly said that a single work of art could be in a position to characterise a whole generation. There it would first have to be clarified how this generation is to be defined. Nevertheless, it appears to me that such a characterisation exists here. There was life before Stalker. And there was a different one afterwards.
ulrich polster - report /by dieter daniels
Seven monitors transmit excerpts from television reports on the Yugoslav wars, the ten-day war in Slovenia in June 1991, and the Srebrenica massacre in July 1995. For his work, Polster recorded relevant repeats of the German news program Die Tagesschau twenty years later, as transmitted by digital station tagesschau24 (still named ARD EinsExtra until 2012). He selected the reports on Yugoslavia from roughly 200 hours of material to present them in a condensed montage on all seven monitors simultaneously.
ulrich polster - notturno /by christoph tannert
Ulrich Polster, who grew up in the GDR during the era of the Cold War, has traced out his aesthetic influences in his single channel projection Notturno. The artist approaches his video pieces from a painterly angle and finds it very important to convey their visual presence to the full. For this reason he decided to project the work onto a Perspex surface.
For all the ironic signals that are scattered throughout the work, the artist is in fact extremely serious when it comes to the core of socialist modernism.
ulrich polster/christine scherrer: unstern /by christoph tannert
There are streams of images that are reminiscent of Yogic manuals without the tinge of esotericism, looking rather like relaxation therapies that would have been stripped of their didactic undertones. The three-channel video projection Unstern [Disaster] by Ulrich Polster (visuals) and Christine Scherrer (sound) is arguably the most disturbing and simultaneously well-tempered exploration of remoteness to come out of Germany in recent months. Spectators embark on a journey through time and space, only to sense the gut-wrenching, mind-numbing horror of distant worlds insidiously taking hold of them.
The complexity of this exhibition [Trouble with Realism] and its mental correlations might best be condensed in this short video by Ulrich Polster. For a few minutes we see, greetings from Claude Monet, a heystack. Wether we are looking at a freeze frame or a cinematic shot is hard to tell. One thinks to observe how haze scraps are slightly moving, but this might be as well an illusion. This reference to art history is broken up by the title of this work: Bosnia and Herzegovina (Han Pijesak, Republika Srpska, 07.08.2007).