cologne

Ralf Ziervogel

Philipp von Rosen Galerie

What was this? Limbo, hell, a disco gone out of control, or just a little taunt directed at elaborate installation art? Not necessarily any of these. A torture chamber or purgatory—purgatory as a space of purification? Who can say for sure? After all, what is seen “is never found in what is said,” as Michel Foucault once put it. Still, I have to try to describe this installation, Mamaterial, 2006, by Ralf Ziervogel, a former student of Lothar Baumgarten at Universität der Künste in Berlin and one of the most promising young artists around. The installation (based on the artist’s graduate project) was conceived for three rooms, which the gallery built to accommodate Ziervogel’s plan.

On entering the gallery, one stood within a long, narrow, bright, and nearly barren room extending toward a flight of stairs. Just before the stairs descend, one encountered a raw chicken—purchased, according

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