Michael Müller Caoutchouc

2 September - 11 October 2008

Private view
Thursday 11 September, 6-8 pm

Mummery + Schnelle are pleased to announce the first exhibition in London of the work of Michael Müller. Müller's art is based on linguistic, numeric, stella, or solar systems, which, although they have some basis in empirical reality are almost always invented by the artist himself. Best known for his drawings and written work, Müller is constantly expanding his means of expression, which now incorporate sculpture, installation and painting. If there can be said to be a general theme for his work, then it is translation. This can sometimes literally mean the translation of one language into another - as, for example, in his invention of the language K4 - but translation can also be interpreted as transference from one level of reality to another. The process of making the work involves the activation of an inner imagination and becomes a performance of reminiscing. Almost all of Müller's work involves some element of drawing, revealing this medium's closeness to conceptual thought experiment that aims to reveal something fundamental. Müller is very interested in the relationship between fact and fiction and this is central to his exhibition at Mummery + Schnelle. The title of the exhibition, Caoutchouc, is also that of a fragmentary novel written by the artist, first in German, but here translated into English. The cover and printed pages from the book appear in combination with paintings, drawings and sculpture that explore themes extrapolated from its story. Part of the novel is set in what appears to be Colonial India, and one of the themes is the encounter of Western and Eastern cultures through colonialism and the resultant class, race and gender tensions. Müller himself is of Indian, English and German descent and so has introduced an autobiographical element here, but more important is his works more general exploration of what goes to make up collective as well as individual identity. Among these are material resources such as Caoutchouc (un-volcanised rubber) that was economically important to the British colonial economy and had a wide variety of uses, not the least important of which was as a coating for ping-pong bats. Born in 1970, Müller studied art at the Staatliche Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, and now lives and works in Ingelheim, Germany.

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