Artforum Critics' Picks: Natalie Häusler

by Aaron Bogart

Combining sound, painting, text, and sculptural elements, Natalie
Häusler’s latest exhibition, “Case Mod,” blurs the division between
engaging with an artwork sensorially and approaching it cerebrally.
Spreading across the gallery’s floor is a Color Field painting
consisting of cardboard tiles washed in vibrant acrylic paint. Titled
Subway/Monika (floor piece) (all works 2012), the piece evokes the
Emergency Broadcast System image that used to flash across
television screens. Hung on the gallery wall are ten sculptures:
Each is made of broken stained glass and consists of shelves on
which an MP3 player and speakers play sound tracks featuring the
voices of the artist’s friends reciting poetry she has penned herself.
In order to hear each poem, one must lean in—but the edges of
each piece are sharp, acting almost as warnings not to get too
close. The texts of the respective poems are printed on transparent
paper and draped over the top of each shelf, softening the boundaries
of the shelves and almost turning them into works of concrete poetry.

The title of the show comes from case modification, the practice of altering
the chassis of a computer hard drive in an attempt to show off some special
or unique feature. While the only thing being modified in the gallery is the
floor, and then only nonpermanently, the works in this exhibition activate
the viewer’s capacity to transform a complex of sound, text, and art into his
or her own artistically enjoyable experience.


Kurfürstenstrasse 14/b

January 11–February 16

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