Wilhelm Sasnal b. 1972
The Band (2004)
2004, four 3 minute films (looped), color, silent
While painting is still at the centre of Wilhelm Sasnal's work, he has also increasingly turned to photography and film in recent years. The video work "The Band", 2002, was made during a live performance of indie rock band Sonic Youth. Standing in the middle of the crowd, Sasnal and three of his friends each filmed one band member simultaneously. Projected onto the octagonal column of the gallery room, the four Super-8 films are put back together to make a single band again out of four individual musicians. But as Sasnal plays the concert film without sound, and with the viewer never being able to catch all four image tracks simultaneously, the event can only be experienced in fragments. The blanks must be filled in by the viewer activating his or her own memories and associations.
Sasnal's involvement with underground music has repeatedly played a role in the creation of his works. Record covers, portraits of musicians or excerpts from music videos have served as starting points for his paintings. It is no surprise, then, that the works on view at the Hauser & Wirth gallery revolve around the artist's musical preferences. Thus, "Untitled (Sweat)", 2002, shows the sweat stains left by the artist on his T-shirt after a rock concert. And in the installation "Untitled", 2003, Sasnal used two loudspeakers that had been among his personal furniture for fifteen years to build an intimate monument. Such works are particularly revealing of Sasnal's subjective approach to art. They clearly make reference to moments of reality, but at the same time their self-centredness is so intensified as to become hermetic, thus cutting off the ties that connected them to real events.