press release

Manfred Erjautz (the artist was born in 1966 in Graz) examines those linguistic systems that – alongside everyday speech – influence our communications system in the most diverse ways.

In the beginning, it was the binary bar code that Erjautz transformed in sculptural objects. This and the advertising slogans and trademarks that followed are simplified carriers of complex subject matter. Contrary to the dual stick structure of the bar codes, adhesive stickers feature striking and pithy verbal and pictorial language, that operates with similarly striking images and colours. Manfred Erjautz relates the adhesive stickers to one another, merges them together or scatters them and tries by this means to undermine their original meaning, in order to produce new messages. On the other hand, Manfred Erjautz conceived "hybrid objects" for his exhibition in the rooms of the Gallery, which reveal the different layers of meaning and mutability of concepts. As in the case of trademarks (which were intentionally arranged and combined with one another by the artist to produce new meanings), these "hybrid objects" are objects that have specific visual connotations and are transmuted together with other objects to produce a new and often ambiguous conceptual entity. For instance, when Erjautz transforms pieces of "Lego" (a children’s game) into a "Colt Anaconda" (a weapon), or an enormous refuse container into a confessional box – both afford "moral gratification" – he tries to display the great diversity of our possibilities for perception, or – alternatively – the predetermination of language interpretation through cultural conditioning.

"The revelation of such fluid connections is also, at the same time, an indication of the culturally-conditioned limits to disclosure and concealment, which ensures that disclosure is always accompanied by concealment and speech with silence." (Manfred Erjautz)

only in german

Manfred Erjautz