Wiener Secession, Association of Visual Artists, Friedrichstraße 12, A-1010 Vienna,
6 Jun 2010
Nicole Six & Paul Petritsch: Atlas
Artist : Nicole Six & Paul Petritsch
Title : 24 Hours Exposure
Date(s) : 2010
Credit : Photos: Wolfgang Thaler, courtesy Wiener Secession
When does a concrete act, endlessly repeated, acquire an inconceivable dimension, one that escapes our grasp and ultimately becomes abstract? How often must the same route be traveled before the traveler is inscribed into it and, conversely, the route inscribes itself into the traveler, so that place, route, and body become one? What part does the scale of a space play in the possibility of disappearing in that space?
These and similar questions manifest themselves in Atlas, Nicole Six & Paul Petritsch’s intervention at the Secession in which they define and expand the concept of the sculptural as a form of measure in space and/or time.
The main gallery at the Secession, designed in 1897 as a prototypical exhibition space, is empty except for a single conceptual unit. The room providing the framework for the exhibition itself becomes part of the intervention. In it, Six & Petritsch present two possible complementary forms of representing the world using their own means.
Klumpen (Chunk) is a concrete cast of a hollow in the wall of the Secession. Nicole Six spent 24 hours in this space, and the sculpture thus also represents the minimal dimensions of her body. Stapel (Stack), on the other hand, represents a maximum imaginable scale: a single picture, reproduced on 20,000 posters to be taken away free of charge, represents nothing less than the world itself.
The background for this picture is a project for which Six & Petritsch set off in October 2009 to an abandoned race course on the Greenwich meridian, that resembles a Möbius strip, where they aimed to cover the circumference of the Earth and cross the international dateline on their mopeds. Finally, the 500-page Index brings together the cartographic records that served Six & Petritsch as an aid to orientation while looping endlessly: on the one hand tallies spread out over countless pages, with each stroke marking a completed round; on the other hand, photographs taken on a rotating basis at twelve points along the course, exposed for twenty-four hours each, define location and view with the corresponding geographical coordinates and document the time. In this way, Six & Petritsch give their immaterial sculptural-performative work of “traveling round the world” a concrete form.