The One Trick Pony
The Berlin artist Marcel Buehler describes the artist’s situation as the dilemma of feeling the complexity while at the same time striving for simplification. This conflict is also visible in his works. They appear at first glance to be everyday objects that one would be acquainted with for example from advertising. On closer observation and study of the background, however, a complex network of associations and references is revealed.
Buehler has those swings of self-doubt that plague any reflective artist: the search for his own signature, his position in the vast art scene. For years he has presented a flirtatious, but steadfast nature. He could not do anything other than art. So he expresses the “One Trick Pony“ from the desire to reduce complexity, the desire to state clearly: “I can and that’s me, no more and no less!“
Since titles are always an integral part of any work or relevant exhibition, it is important to give them consideration. The aesthetics of the work “Tristesse Bourgeoise“ for example may appear known to the viewer. The typography used, the proportions used and the optical material of the work used refer to a well-known product of the high-priced beauty industry so that the high gloss material and the implicit promise of beauty and fine luxury only knock up harder against the meaningless bourgeois monotony. The work also evokes an association with an oversized magnifying mirror. Am I really myself in my everyday life? It is aptly summarized here: “Buehler’s gigantic vanity mirror with depth effect asks us to reflect on our image and self-image, our self-understanding and our work.“ (Dr. Joerg Garbrecht, Nolde Stiftung Berlin)
Marcel Buehler got support from a master of dramaturgy. He borrowed the title for his exhibition from a sentence by Heiner Mueller, in which the boundaries between author, artist, actor, juggler, magician and charlatan are blurred and finally: the liar in Buehler’s work also expresses this: “I never say what I believe and I never believe anything I say. And if a word of truth escapes me, I hide it behind so many lies that it is not to be found again.“
Is the artist exposing the aesthetic, seductive tricks of the consumer world or is his own artistic commentary just a cheap circus trick? As Jan Maruhn (Sculpture Workshop of BBK Berlin) a lowbrow art viewer so eloquently put it: “I believe that the whole of modern art is all just a trick!“
Another work, adorned with about 3,500 sequins, radiates from the back, reminiscent of an important work of classic modernity: Malevich’s Black Square of 1915. On closer examination of the history of this work, it is striking that Malevich created several versions, in which he did not necessarily stick strictly to a square, but dealt rather laxly with the right angle. Buehler demonstrates very clearly that the epochal aura, which these black squares have spread for almost 100 years, questions but also highlights the creation of myths through the history of such works.
Marcel Buehler himself operates in the rich universe of the history of art as well as in the requisites of popular culture and the advertising industry and has added his own vocabulary with his work – a work, that under its shiny surface contains a whole bunch of associations, references, hints and traps.
Opening: Wednesday, June 22, 2011, 18:00-21:00
Exhibition duration: June 22, 2011 – August 6, 2011