Critics’ Picks

View of “Birgit Knoechl and Simona Koch,” 2015.

Vienna

Birgit Knoechl and Simona Koch

das weisse haus
Hegelgasse 14
October 27 - December 12

Organic forms, recurring patterns and processes, all of which yield connections both thematic and formal: Birgit Knoechl’s and Simona Koch’s exhibition shows current bodies of work that couldn’t complement one another better. In the interplay between the two artists a network emerges out of drawings, silhouettes, videos and animation, and even collections of objects presented on tables. At their best, these are two installations that both impress and threaten the observer, in equal measure.

Birgit Knoechl’s RissWachstum0IIII, 2015, consists of more than sixty modules that hang from the ceiling of the exhibition space and respond to every movement in the air. The paper, inked black through and through, partly cut, partly torn, shimmers in different nuances of color, because the extensively used India ink reflects the surrounding lighting conditions. Knoechl’s work emerges from her investigations of drawing, which she leads outward from the two-dimensional sheet of paper into a full spatial context. With recurring plant and crystal motifs, she visualizes organic and inorganic growth processes.

Simona Koch’s research-based praxis explores development and interconnectivity of various kinds: In Menschengeflecht #1, 2015–, the work hangs, like Knoechl’s, from the ceiling. What one can see is a network of knotted sisal cords depicting the artist’s family tree. Since Koch began her research, the family represented has grown to include 600 individuals—a considerable figure. If one considers this work a small segment of the mycelium of the large web of human relationships, it becomes clear that the theme of growth is bound up with life and death as well: a very poetic convergence.

Translated from German by Diana Reese.