Installation View, Patterns of Habit, 2011
Last Tuesday, I went to Andrea Zittel, Patterns of Habit at Spruth Magers, Berlin. Upon first entering the gallery space, I didn’t immediately recognize the work as Zittel’s. She is known for her self-contained, constructed environments and stiff wool uniforms. It wasn’t until I investigated the work closely whereas I started to recognize some familiar stylistic elements, including crochet and felt. For Patterns of Habit, Zittel has focused on her own habit of stacking cardboard boxes after receiving packages in the mail. Her work is about the systematic elements/qualities of life that we all refer to on a daily basis. She seeks ways to reinterpret and document the order by making structures and in this case thinking about grids and content.
Installation View, Patterns of Habit, 2011
The walls of the gallery are painted and mapped with newspaper. The visual instruction is both aesthetically pleasing and also conceptually informative as it documents the artists’ own Internet usage spanning 39 days. Zittel was thinking of her external environment (the desert of Joshua Tree, California) versus the virtual environment spent sending emails, surfing the web etc. equally blocked out and compared. The objects and painted patterns on the wall document a grid of time passed.
Tellus Interdum‘, 2011
Upon closer inspection, I was intrigued to find the newspapers appear to be on contemporary news topics, but written in Latin. Reading the press release, I now know that the language is Lorem Ipsum, a placeholder text used by graphic designers. The language is meant to simulate communication but allow the designers to focus less on content and more on form and structure. This is perfect for someone like Zittel and Patterns of Habit, as the entire body of work which forms this particular project is less about function (in comparison to her previous mobile compartment units) and instead offers a conceptual solution to communicate information and statistics in a visual manner. As she states in the press release:
While we ‘spend’ time, we ‘consume’ content. But similar to a schedule, the content of the cells in a newspaper is always replaceable – ultimately the format creates a regularity that supersedes the chaos of the natural disasters, life dramas or ever changing world events that are represented within this format.
A-Z Fiber Form Grid, 2011
Andrea Zittel: Pattern of Habit is on view at Spruth Magers, Berlin until September 8th, 2011. Also on view at the gallery is The Art of Narration Changes With Time, a group exhibition curated by Gigiotto Del Vecchio.
More soon!