Critics’ Picks

Nicole Six and Paul Petritsch, Das Meer der Stille (The Sea of Silence), 2014, mixed media. Installation view.


Nicole Six and Paul Petritsch

Landesgalerie Linz
Museumstrasse 14
June 18–September 14

The principle of space runs like a thread through the solo exhibition of the artist duo Nicole Six and Paul Petritsch. Upon entering the gallery, visitors are greeted by the video installation Raum für 5 min. 16 sec. (Space for 5 min. 16 sec.), 2014, which is projected onto two walls that face each other, showing Six installing a video camera. After the cameras are switched on, the artist shoots one and then the other with a rifle, destroying both. The shot corresponds to the cut in the video, such that the method of shot/countershot is interpreted literally. As the title of the work suggests, the entire process takes five minutes and sixteen seconds—also exactly the amount of time Six and Petritisch needed in order to construct and deconstruct their performative video-space.

The artists operate within a similar movement-countermovement in Das Meer der Stille (The Sea of Silence), 2014, a temporary intervention in an exterior space that can be viewed by visitors as a video document. In the space, Six and Petritsch have reconstructed every trace left on the moon by the astronauts of the Apollo 11 Mission in 1969 still visible to this day. On one hand, this refers to a work they created on a piece of land in Austria that addresses the thesis that the moon came into being as the result of a meteor crashing into the Earth. On the other, Six and Petritisch set the working of the land on the moon, like an abstract drawing in a meadow, into connection with Johannes Kepler, who was active in Linz in the seventeenth century. The mathematician and astronomer described a trip to the moon in the story Somnium sive astronomia lunaris, from 1609, anticipating the genre of science fiction.

Translated from German by Diana Reese.