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Tobias Becker / Alex Gross - The Raft of the Medusa, 2009, metal, faceplates, different other materials directly taken from nature, ca. 150 x 350 x 550 cm

The Raft of the Medusa

Collaboration betwenn Tobias Becker and Alex Gross. Solo-Show for the Gallery hunchentoot at PREVIEW BERLIN 2009

The work emerged from a collaboration between Tobias Becker and Alex Gross. The motivation for the work shown was to capture contemporary references to landscape and nature with a historical narrative that, in its choreography and drama, provides an entry point into a discussion about physical and virtual spaces of experience, their potentials and shortcomings. As a starting point for the work, the artists chose the story of the Raft of the Medusa, depicted in the painting of the same title by the French painter Théodore Géricault from 1819.

Based on this haunting story, the artists discussed questions of systems and ruptures, simulation and reality. Gross and Becker deliberately chose a place outside of the studio situation as a place to work. For six days, the artists moved to a lake in the idyllic Spreewald. Starting with drawings and paintings, they developed an abstract topography from materials taken directly from nature, a broken landscape based on principles of deconstructivist architecture and computer graphics. The final product is not so much a model of a landscape as an abstract, artificial landscape principle that allows viewing from different perspectives and directly discusses the relationship between viewer, object and place through the transversal of construction principles. The way in which virtual realities read as - provisional - places of escape and/or rescue vehicles (simulated nature) collide with the shoals and unpredictability of physical realities finds a binding expression in narratives such as that of the Raft of the Medusa. The work on show represents a way of placing the core of the story in a contemporary frame of reference.
(Excerpt press text Preview Berlin)