“My hope is that art is a means to break power and authority, and that by questioning art we can take paths beyond convention” – Fabian Knecht
Nite Art 2017 is delighted to bring one of the most prominent figures of Berlin’s contemporary art scene, Fabian Knecht, to Melbourne. Knecht, who is most known for setting the roof of the Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin alight in 2014, has studied under leading international artists Olafur Eliasson and Matthew Barney in New York.
As the inaugural international guest artist for Nite Art, Knecht will present a Lecture Performance that speaks to his recent global ISOLATION projects and a new work, SPLIT, created in this, his first visit to Australia, at Karlu Karlu – The Devils Marbles Conservation Reserve, located 110 km south of Tennant Creek in the Northern Territory. Through the staging of numerous fictitious enactments, SPLIT brings into question the process unto which the millions of years old formations have occurred by claiming the natural separation of a particular rock as being an artwork intervention created by the artist himself.
Challenging what constitutes a gallery or museum space, the ISOLATION series comprises an exhibition space – a ‘white cube’ – which is built for one evening around a segment of a remote landscape: a riverbed and a base of a vanished monument in Ukraine, a frozen sea in Vladivostok, wasteland in Berlin and an uprooted tree in a forest near Arnsberg. In ISOLATION, nature in all its complexity is elevated to the status of an artwork and exhibited in situ.
“To put it simply, Fabian is remarkably capable of taking sensitive, political and zeitgeist-informed ideas, and translates the living parts of those ideas into his work in very emotional, sometimes provoking and critical ways. He’s constantly travelling, moving and producing. To come to Melbourne and to resonate with the context there, will inspire new works and grant new perspectives,” says Olafur Eliasson, the Danish-Icelandic artist and Knecht’s professor at Berlin University of the Arts.
Fabian Knecht was born in Magdeburg, Germany and lives and works in Berlin. He studied Fine Arts at the University of Arts Berlin, the California Institute Of The Arts, and the Ale School of Fine Arts, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. From 2009 to 2014 Knecht was a participant in the Institut für Raumexperimente, Olafur Eliasson’s class at the University of Arts Berlin. He graduated as Meisterschüler in 2014. In 2012, Knecht worked for video and performance artist Matthew Barney in New York. He is represented by alexander levy Berlin and Galerie Gaillard Paris.
Among others, Fabian Knecht’s works have been shown at the Museum For Contemporary Art Zagreb; 5th Moscow International Biennale for Young Art, Moskow; Reykjavík Art Museum; Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo and Neue Nationalgalerie Berlin.
While in Melbourne, Knecht will present a series of public forums, workshops and symposia with artists at the University of Melbourne, the VCA – Centre of Ideas and RMIT – Art in Public Space, and will lead a CoM Arts and Culture – Test Sites program working with artists to test and realise their ideas in public spaces.
The Goethe Institute are Cultural Partner for this program.
Nite Art is part of a global shift happening in other art cities such as Berlin and London that is changing the way people view and interact with art. The one-night art event recognises that art and artists are at the centre of our city, and creates a new conversation about Melbourne’s cultural identity via collaboration, connectivity and legacy.
FREISETZUNG, Fabian Knecht, 2014, Neue Nationalgalerie Berlin, Courtesy Fabian Knecht and alexander levy gallery Berlin
ISOLATION (Dead Tree), Fabian Knecht, 2017, Kunstverein Arnsberg Courtesy Fabian Knecht and alexander levy gallery Berlin
Nite Art 2017
Thursday 27 July, 6pm ’til late
Various locations across Melbourne