press release

Florian Pumhösl’s works refer to the form languages of abstraction and modernity, and more specifically the “transgression of forms”: the dynamics of translation, displacement and reminiscence of certain forms between various periods in time, various geographical contexts, various media. His previous projects, for instance, have dealt with the representative forms seen in reciprocal exchanges between the Japanese, Russian and European avant-gardes (Modernologie, 2007) and the first expressions of modernism in Brazilian architecture (Programm, 2006). The exhibition at Mudam is built on an abstract animated film based on a Japanese book dated towards the end of the 17th century. The Yuzen Hiinagata (1688) is a work in four volumes dedicated to kimono patterns and hails from the Tenri library in Japan. Florian Pumhösl used this work as a “script” for his film: the graphic forms of the book’s prints have been chosen, simplified and reorganised in such a manner that the work implies a typology of formal fragments. The film is arranged in different chapters, named after the reference numbers under which the volumes are classified at the Tenri library. The artist’s interest in these patterns is in line with the context of his wider research on the play of transfer and influence between different geographical and historical contexts: “I looked at these decorative and sometimes arabesque forms and reexamined something about them that might have initiated the fascination of modernist artists with Japanese visual language – a common ground. ”The moving image occupies a central position in Pumhösl’s practice. The succession of shots in the 16mm film acts as an equivalent to the succession of the pages in the book. It is reminiscent of certain abstract films produced during the early 20th century, such as Diagonal Symphony (1921-1924) by Viking Eggeling. The artist’s interest in these early abstract films lies particularly in the manner in which they visualise the dialogues that established themselves in the period between avant-garde, abstraction and cinematographic research. In the exhibition, the 16mm film is accompanied by a series of mural compositions featuring pieces of glass. The forms that these pieces of glass depict evoke the patterns featured in the 16mm film. Each composition associates several forms simply positioned on an incline without being firmly secured and therefore suggest a certain fluidity. For the artist, they represent “cinematographic sketches”.

Curator: Christophe Gallois

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Florian Pumhösl
Kurator: Christophe Gallois