Mathew Hale — Der Willkommene Fremde


Collage, installation

Mathew Hale
Der Willkommene Fremde

Past: March 10 → April 7, 2012

“ The crisis is a cultural model: the same model that has marked western thinking about the organic (with Hippocrates), the poetic and logical (Aristotelian catharsis and syllogism), and more recently the socio-economic. ”

Roland Barthes, S/Z, 1970

Der Willkommene Fremde fn1. , Mathew Hale’s second exhibition at the Galerie Michel Rein is centered around a large new work, Maria und Joseph: It becomes a morbid time. , 2012. This work, which is 10 meters long and incorporates 13 separate, though related, collages alongside texts and extraneous images, forms a constellation of material encompassing a numb of subject; the recent riots in the UK (reported in the media as being without a cause), a royal S&M fantasy (featuring Charles, Camilla and Diana), Punk ‘77 (specifically but obliquely The Sex Pistols), the media (photography as an instant of pain), Freud’s assertion that small children often mistake sex for violence resulting in a misconception about “where babies come from”, regicide (decapitation), “the heir” and generational shifts.

The key text is from Antonio Gramsci but has been reversed. The original reads :

“The crisis consists precisely in the fact that the old is dying and the new cannot be born; in this interregnum a great variety of morbid symptoms appear.”

The reversed version (think Prince Charles as social allegory) reads:

“The crisis consists precisely in the fact that the old is not dying and the new can be born; in this regnum a great variety of morbid symptoms appear”.

The work hopes to achieve a collapse of historical time into mythic time, where today’s online papers can sit quite naturally alongside Elizabethan material or pornography from the 1970s. Made in Berlin by a UK citizen who has lived in Germany for twelve years, and exhibited in Paris (the site of Diana’s death) it features the kind of involuntary insights that are perhaps more easily available to an expatriate looking back at home and recognising a certain pleasurable national malaise that is also at work within himself elsewhere.

Alongside this portmanteau work seven individual collages will be exhibited. They are all new works in the ongoing Miriam production. While diverse in both form and content they share the characteristic of having emerged from French material, for the most part. The German element of this triangular exhibition will be supplied by the screening in the gallery the tape-slide work Die Münze [The Coin], 2008-2011. This work, which was screened at The Museum of Modern Art, New York, last year is 28 minutes long and features a voiceover read by Astrid Proll the photographer who was an early member of the RAF (Bader-Meinhof) group. Having lived anonymously in the UK for some time she speaks English in a beautiful, strong voice, lightly accented but not in the usual way. The texts are selected or written by the artist.

Die Münze is a kind of film-essay, elusive while compelling. If it is about one thing above all, one could say it is concerned with the disavowal of homogeneity that goes on between the generations; the necessary violence that each new generation must mete out on it’s progenitors — and the tremendous truth, so seldom acknowledged, that we were once one with our mothers. This of course is played out aesthetically through the avant-garde in just the same way. I once heard Mike Kelley say that as a student he gradually came to the realisation that he had a problem with “Quality”. Michael Kimmelman, who was interviewing him on stage asked: “What’s the problem with quality?” To which Kelly replied, with exhilarating vehemence and incredulity: “You don’t know the problem with quality !!? It’s what your Daddy did!! Well done little boy! That’s why we can recognise it!!” The final element in the exhibition is a paper sculpture called Extremities Meet, 2012. It is made using the geometry found in an aerial photograph of the Forét de Troncais. The photographic perspective produces a perfect equilateral triangle as two divergent roads meet the horizon. By using three copies of this photograph a three sided pyramid can be formed. When this is done the extremities of the triangle on the ground meet in the sky."

Mathew Hale, 2012

1 “ The Welcome Stranger ” Antonio Gramsci, Cahiers de prison, Gallimard, Paris, 1978-82

  • Opening Saturday, March 10, 2012 at 6 PM
03 Le Marais Zoom in 03 Le Marais Zoom out

42, rue de Turenne

75003 Paris

T. 01 42 72 68 13 — F. 01 42 72 81 94

Chemin Vert

Opening hours

Tuesday – Saturday, 11 AM – 7 PM

The artist

  • Mathew Hale