Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen’s 1500m2 Bodon Galleries has been taken over by Vienna-based Gelatin as they present a major body of new sculptures. Gelatin’s humorous, infectiously enthusiastic works involve the public with special costumes - as participants. Nothing is forced and touching the art is allowed.
Gelatin carries a directness that provokes and confronts as they highlight and break down social conformities and prejudices. The Vienna based artists operate on the borders of painting, sculpture and rock music; of architecture and sport, performance and fashion; between staged event and spontaneous discussion, constantly evading categorization. The exhibition ‘Vorm – Fellows – Attitude’ in Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam, presents Gelatin’s longstanding and unbiased interest in the human condition, placing the body at the center of their process. The exhibition presents site-specific, monumental works, exalting the unique character of the museum’s galleries. A celebration of sculpture which embodies an unifying attribute of humanity, a social, cultural, economical regulator, while at the same time inquiring over the negative connotation excrement has gained over time.
“THIS IS ALSO A SHOW FOR ALL WHO THINK THAT CONTEMPORARY ART IS SHIT. THEY SHOULD COME AND SEE THIS SHIT SHOW. THEY WILL BE SATISFIED.” Gelatin
The turd being the first sculpture you make as a child, in 2007 Gelatin created a poop alphabet, embracing the innocence conjecture of children, a pre-taboo condition consigned to oblivion by adults. With their personal, sincere and passionate approach, Gelatin questions such taboos, which are the cause of a passive attitude, non-communication and fear.
Exhibition curator Francesco Stocchi compares Gelatin to a bar of soap: “As soon as you think you have a grip on them, they slip away from you, leaving their essence in your hands”. The new sculptures, especially conceived for the Bodon rooms of the Museum, stand in a long line of works and sculptural concepts Gelatin has been playing with for more then 2 decades.
“VORM-FELLOWS-ATTITUDE” follows a now established tradition within Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen of giving a stage and total artistic freedom to internationally-reputed artists as they exhibit within a major Dutch institution for the first time. Previously Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen has shown Urs Fischer (2006), Eric van Lieshout (2006), Andreas Slominski (2007), Pipilotti Rist (2009) and Carsten Höller (2010).
Sjarel Ex, Director of Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen: “Gelatin invites to free thinking. They are exciting, deeply challenging and always make us feel uncomfortable. And yet their work - the emotion from their work - this remains with you far beyond its physical existence. Each year we give the floor to such a major artist of international standing: this freedom of approach is Boijmans’ DNA, and who we are.”
Other projects have included Human Elevator, 1999: a lift employing human muscle power in Los Angeles, The B Thing staged in New York in 2000, when Gelatin installed a temporary balcony on the ninety-first floor of the World Trade Centre; Nellanutella, 2001 where they plunged into Venice’s canals for the Biennale; True Love IV, 2002, a wooden rocket in South Korea; Gelitin at the Shore of Lake Pipi Kacka, 2003: a human birthday cake in London; and Otto Volante, 2004, a self-made functioning rollercoaster in Galleria Massimo De Carlo in Milan.
Moreover Gelatin have created a gigantic human objectcopier (Tantamounter 24/7, 2005); an enormous-giraffe-long pink rabbit in the Italian mountains (Hase / Rabbit / Coniglio, 2005); a sculpture of frozen urine for the 1st Moscow Biennial (Zapf de Pipi, 2005); a lake with rowing boats on a terrace of the Hayward Gallery, London (Normally, Proceeding and Unrestricted with Without Title, 2008); a sculpture of a gigantic nose by the Danube near Sankt Lorenz in Austria (The Wachauer Nase, 2014) and a hundred illuminated balloons in a cave in Puerto Rico (Cave Show, 2014).
Having already exhibited and performed at Sonsbeek 9 and the Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten, Geliain’s rebellious, playful and welcoming approach is already known in The Netherlands. This will be Gelatin’s first solo exhibition within a Dutch institution.