Painting, poetry and measuring movement
by Jennifer Allen
What a mess. When I walked into Natalie Häusler’s solo show Case Mod at Supportico Lopez, Berlin in January, I expected to find the work I’d seen on the gallery’s website. The installation shots of monika/subway (floor piece) (2012) promised a neat grid of cardboard tiles, painted in bright acrylic colours and covering the gallery’s main floor. By the time I arrived, the tiles were wildly scattered and marred by dusty footprints. Häusler had fastidiously positioned them but failed to use glue. The mingling of guests at the opening had displaced them over the course of the evening. The most beaten footpath near the entrance bore the brunt of the destruction while tiles near the walls were untrampled. As an itinerary, monika/subway started as a grid of happy shades, only to end up mapping visitor traffic. But it was disturbing to see in one fell swoop this gradual accumulation of movement, which suggested a disaster and its victims, say, or the path of a tornado and the stampede of people escaping. Only then did it occur to me that a twister in slow-motion might look like a ballet of objects. And that Häusler’s installation might be about measuring movement, speed, duration – a kind of action painting in an expanded field. ...
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