Weite Welt Regal
Schloss Geymüller, Hollenburg, Austria
The artistic cosmos of Mahony has been revolving around the cultural practice of travel on many levels for several years. Their multimedia creative work (installations, sculptures, paintings, collages, graphic art, photographs and videos) is a manifestation of an engagement with historic and contemporary phenomena, technologies, myths and actual problems that result from the human impulse to discover the new and interact with the other. A shift in the boundaries of perception and knowledge as well as the dissolution of sovereignty of meaning are elementary concerns of the group behind projects which at a first glance often seem characterised by humour and lightness.
Recently traveling itself has become a major element in this approach: like artistic researchers, on their way to foreign countries as well as on site there the group collects impressions and artifacts, which are later used as material for artistic reflection and production. Most recently, the project series Odyssey 500 led the group to South America via container ship, where they spent several months in Brazil and Argentina. In Weite Welt Regal Mahony now focuses on a small Austrian village, where the contrast between local and global provides the conceptual basis for the show. At the epicenter of the exhibition space is a wooden sculpture -the shelf (Regal) – whose simple shapes support and store items, and in their entirety form the vague shape of a ship. The contrast of immobility and movement inherent to the resting two-master - as well as the presentation of the potential "freight" in the small room - create an intriguing moment of tension. On a carpet a collection of objects and artifacts, which for the most part originate from the artists' studios and include models and sketches for past concepts is spread out - the wide world of Mahony's thinking concentrated in a small and limited area. The separation of shelf and items makes the not insignificant process of sorting and revising impressions from an exploration clear as a reference point. The gramophone, too, made of wood and black lacquer and attached to a radio receiving long wave transmission of signals from faraway countries, represents the idea of a possible triumph over geographical or cultural distances. Along with the collages on the walls, a sculpture made of books which represent stereotypes of the exotic, the shelf and the intimation of a tile stove, a spatial ensemble is created which - also in light of the castle it faces - becomes readable as the abstracted version of a salon in the house of an eccentric explorer. The show builds on the latest projects of the artist group by complementing their densely woven web of travel references by interplay between proximity and distance, vastness and narrowness, as well as experience and memory to a complex net of references.
Maximilian Geymüller, 2010