Tobias Rehberger: If you don’t use your eyes to see, you will use them to cry 托比亚斯•雷贝格：如果你的眼睛不用来看，就会用来哭
2019年 3月 23日 – 2019年 5月 26日
The Rockbund Art Museum is very pleased to present the first institutional solo exhibition in China by the renowned German artist Tobias Rehberger. If you don’t use your eyes to see, you will use them to cry will be on display from 23 March to 26 May, 2019. Rehberger’s multifaceted work has been instrumental to expanding the possibilities of sculpture, spanning a diverse range of fields that include design, architecture, and conceptual art. The exhibition looks to showcase newly commissioned works and site-specific installations created especially for the Rockbund Art Museum. Through an array of visually confounding objects and environments, Rehberger continues to pioneer a range of production techniques and forms of social intervention that explore how we interact with space and perceive the connection between everyday life and art.
Born in 1966, Esslingen, Germany, the Frankfurt-based Rehberger was a student of Martin Kippenberger and Thomas Bayrle, and is noted for later contributions that place him among a generation of artists in the 90s whose cross-disciplinary approaches redefined ideas of shared authorship and controlled chance as a catalyst for making art. Larys Frogier, Director of the Rockbund, anticipates Rehberger’s exhibition as follows: “During the exhibition, the artist will transform the building of our institution into a space that looks to appeal to passersby or those who rarely venture into the museum. Through the transition of moving from the outside into the exhibition, the audience will be immersed into a dazzling alternative world that subverts the boundaries of these different realities. By intervening onto our museum structure, Rehberger re-routes the logic of our social norms, therefore opening up new entry points to imagine how art can fuse together with our life.”
The exhibition’s title, If you don’t use your eyes to see, you will use them to cry, is a truism that expresses the connection between how we choose to see the world and the importance of this decision in defining the quality of our experience and engagement with it. Adept at incorporating public environments and everyday objects into his work, Rehberger brings a butcher shop, flower arrangements, a teahouse, a bar, and public signage to occupy the different floors of the Museum. Many of these works play with notions of collective memory and cultural displacement, highlighting the way ideas circulate and transform in new contexts.
Outside of the museum, a neon sign hints at the fully functional "butcher shop" that now sits on the first floor. On the second floor is Vase Portrait series (1997 to 2016), an “exhibition within an exhibition,” in which a collection of more than 50 uniquely composed flower-adorned sculptures form an homage to and reveal the aesthetic quirks of a community of artists and friends associated with the artist. A teahouse on the third floor incorporates Western misinterpretations of a traditional Japanese tea ceremony, the design of the structure diverging from the procedures of this highly-prescribed ritual to create a new type of gathering. On the fourth floor, the artist has created an impressive display of LED light sculptures that mimic the commercial signage systems found in outdoor public spaces. Free Coffee Free Parking Freedom (plug & play version) (2018) invites the audience to remotely control the brightness and level of noise in the space as the lights synchronize to music played from a mobile phone. The fifth-floor mezzanine will display a new iteration of the artist’s ongoing Pixels series (2019), which asks the viewer to constantly adjust his or her distance in relation to a vivid sequence of monochrome mosaic tiles. Depending on one's perspective, the work appears alternately as an abstract composition of colors or a panoramic landscape of images.
In Rehberger’s exhibition, viewers are treated to a multisensory aesthetic experience where the artworks are enriched with new meaning through the act of seeing and engaging. Occupying the entire top-floor of the museum， Forbidden in heaven, useless in hell (El Redomon version) (2019) is a social artwork that functions as a bar. Conceived in collaboration with the Shanghai-based bar Blackbird, the bar is open only at night. From ceiling to floor, and extending to the furniture, the entire surfaces of the bar have been covered by the artist—an evolution of his series inspired by ‘dazzle’ camouflage, a motif that has formed the basis of many of his projects including his Golden Lion-winning installation at the 53rd Venice Biennale.
Marking a unique site-specific public commission for the museum, the audience can therefore drink at a bar boasting an impressive view of a giant indoor “sun sculpture,” which blinks on and off according to the rise and set of the sun in El Redomon, Argentina, which is positioned on the exact opposite point of the globe to Shanghai. The collaboration between the Rehberger and Blackbird also extends to the first floor butcher shop with another artwork that gives the opportunity for viewers to not only look at, but also to enjoy a menu of meat-based items that can be eaten on-site or taken away. As co-curator Billy Tang remarks, a “key concern running throughout the floors of the museum is a desire to challenge the segmentation of art by mixing it with other areas of society. The exhibition includes the essential input of a wide list of collaborators—florists, artists, craftsmen, butchers, or bartenders—and each of these elements brings something unpredictable. There are works that go beyond our typical opening time and this challenges our habit of trying to grasp the entire exhibition in a single moment.”
For the duration of If you don’t use your eyes to see, you will use them to cry, Rockbund Art Museum will host a series of public programming and educational events further expanding on the themes explored in the exhibition.
2019年3月23日到5月26日，上海外滩美术馆将很荣幸地举办世界知名的德国艺术家托比亚斯·雷贝格（Tobias Rehberger）在中国的首次机构个展：“如果你的眼睛不用来看，就会用来哭”（If you don’t use your eyes to see, you will use them to cry）。雷贝格多重维度的创作将雕塑的可能性延伸至设计、建筑、观念艺术等诸多领域。此次展览将特别展示艺术家为上海外滩美术馆量身定做的数件全新委托作品和大型场域装置。通过创造一系列令人眼花缭乱的物件和环境，雷贝格持续开拓新的生产技术和社会干预形式，探索我们如何与空间互动并感知日常生活与艺术之间的联系。
现居法兰克福的托比亚斯·雷贝格1966年生于德国埃斯林根，师从马丁·基彭伯格（Martin Kippenberger）和托马斯·拜勒（Thomas Bayrle）。在九十年代，雷贝格和他的同代艺术家们跨领域的工作方式重新定义了共有作者权、控制下的偶然性作为艺术创作的催化剂等概念，并获得世界声誉。上海外滩美术馆馆长拉瑞斯·弗洛乔在谈及雷贝格的展览时说：“在展览期间，美术馆将被艺术家转变为路人、或平时鲜少走入美术馆的人也会好奇的场所。从美术馆的室外进入，观众随即被美术馆令人炫目的世界所包围，不同现实的界限被颠覆。通过介入美术馆的结构，雷贝格重设了社会规范的逻辑，从而开辟了想象艺术如何与生活交融在一起的切入点。”