Marcus Geiger

In his work, Marcus Geiger often uses domestic materials and painstaking processes that provoke ironic ruptures between the conceptual precision with which they are treated and the stereotypical image of a comfortable interior that they convey. He explores and demystifies the meaning of the artwork as a concept, disrupting the ways in which the art market attributes value. Geiger is also interested in the confrontation between space and art, in which space is considered broadly to include its social, cultural and political ramifications. His artistically empirical approach is based on an intelligible capability; he directs his perception onto the real-time level of sensory recognition.  

By way of disarmament and in a gesture indicating a déjà-vu, Geiger retreats from a restorative bourgeoisie, without bitterness or moralizing about the vanity of the world. He is not inhibited by philosophy; he replaces the myth of everyday life by the clear form of poetic language. If it is true that light changes the physical existence of the matter it hits since the latter transcends its state of being and is transposed to a higher level of totality, it must be possible to intensify the resulting phenomenon in relation to the color of the object, for example by changing from white to red on a color scale.   

In 1998, Geiger repainted the Vienna Secession red, thus transforming an architectural monument into a pictorial medium in an aura of demanding self-assertion and self-loving splendor. The work recalls one of Geiger’s first exhibitions. A milk carton painted red stood facing a Neo-Geo painting and prevented any auratization from occurring. Thus, Geiger disturbs expectations by means of temporary occupations.

For Berlin Biennale 6 in 2010, he inserted these concepts into the exhibition architecture. With maximum transparency and reduction to essentials, dialectical situations emerge in which individual works and the building interrelate in complex ways. For ten years, a building at Oranienplatz had stood empty. Geiger put together the leftovers from its restoration and from the setup of the exhibition to form a temporary installation in the attic. Thus, the artist probed the entire building and the Biennale from its margins, activating its history as well as its institutional conditions.



1957, Muri / CH



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  • Courtesy HDKW, Berlin

  • Photo: Adam Sakovy