The Contemporary Austin
700 Congress Avenue
artist / participant
Niklas Goldbach’s video HABITAT C3B explores a nearly deserted urban environment populated only by a handful of identical men engaging in an unknown mission. The clone-like characters chase one man that breaks from the group, recalling stock plot twists from science fiction. Produced at the main site of Georges Pompidou’s failed gentrification in the 15th arrondissement of Paris, the video chronicles the implied protagonist’s journey through a modern yet despondently barren cityscape. The sharp angles of the 1970s architecture provide a stark backdrop to the renegade man, whose simple, repetitive actions become laden with complexity as he encounters others who mirror him in appearance yet chase him through the labyrinthine architecture. The percussion of the footsteps intensifies as the video progresses and punctuates the otherwise still silence. Goldbach heightens tensions between fact and fiction and the ambiguity of reality with long patient shots. He produces a world that is both dystopian and hopeful – the viewer never learns if the outlaw man escapes or is brought back into the fold.
Niklas Goldbach graduated from the University of the Arts Berlin, in 2004. He completed postgraduate studies at the University of the Arts, Berlin in 2005 and Hunter College, New York in 2006. Select solo and group exhibitions include IN HABITAT, Project Galleri Maskinen, Sweden; GREETINGS, Mori-Art Museum, Tokyo, Japan; All work and no play, Gallery Mikael Andersen, Berlin; and About Face, No Longer Empty/New Museum, New York City.
Ort: The Jones Center