In the Galerie der Stadt Schwaz, Caramelle exhibits two series of “images” that all show the same motive of an exhibition situation, however, their characteristic style and dimension vary strongly. One series is executed on various paper formats, the other one is produced directly in-situ as mural paintings.
Moreover, he presents a series of vintage photography never exhibited before in various displays, documenting his early conceptual video work. Both series share a confusing play with visual and spacial illusions that can be found not only in his video work but also in his paper and mural paintings. In both series spaces interlace into eternity, they overlap each other in reality and virtuality, enlarging and narrowing one another.
„If we cannot simply get rid of the white cube, we should try to understand it.” (Brian O’Doherty)
According to Brian O’Doherty’s groundbreaking 1976 essay “Inside the White Cube”, every artist should first of all be aware of the fundamental effects that the “usual exhibition situation”, including the white gallery walls and other conventions, has on their pieces. Ernst Caramelle decided very early to work directly with these walls. With his mural paintings that involve the whole room he transforms the space into an image of coloured surfaces that are literally washed out. However, this is only clearly visible in the empty “Gallery shot”, which O’Doherty called an icon of the 20th century. In times of Instagram and Contemporary Art Daily, this observation has not lost relevance. Ernst Caramelle’s exhibition photographs resemble his small format “Gesso Pieces”. They are paper works with washed off watercolour that he himself calls “quasi paintings”.
Ernst Caramelle’s colour compositions aim at creating shifts in perception that open up between the image of the exhibition and the exhibited images.
text: Cosima Rainer
translation: Christina Muigg
photos: Verena Nagl