„Silence“, Bow Arts London, (solo show)
Installation in an empty former nunnery (Bow Arts London) False sloping floor of metal grids, four metal shafts (metal: 5 mm wide), four video projections inside the shafts onto sanded Perspex

Diese Installation nimmt die Idee der geneigten, aber auch begehbaren Lichtgitterebene von „Flood“ auf. Während bei „Flood“ noch eine darunterliegende Leucht-Zeichnung auf Transparentpapier die eigentliche Raumtiefe kaschiert wurde, liegt hier der Raum offen. Selbst die Videoprojektoren, die über ein Spiegelsystem ein Videobild in das Innere der Kanäle projizieren, sind für den Betrachter sichtbar. Das Videobild selbst ist nur in den die Stahlfläche durchbrechenden Stahlkörpern zu sehen. Da alle vier Stahlkanäle jedoch einige Meter voneinander entfernt sind, kann der Betrachter jeweils nur eine Lichtfläche sehen. Die darauf projizierten Videofilme sind zwar ähnlich jedoch dennoch unterschiedlich.

Als Projektionsfläche dieser Rückprojektionen wurde aufgerauhtes transparentes Plexiglas verwendet. (so übrigens auch bei „Get real comfort“). Dadurch entstand eine eigentümliche Räumlichkeit zwischen zweidimensionalen Videobild und räumlich durchscheinendem Stahlkörper.

1996, „Night Moves“ (englisch), Stuart Morgan

In 1996, Till Exit transformed a space in East London by building floors of heavy metal mesh. A steep, two-metre ascent led to an area so near the roof that at one end visitors were forced to bend their backs or legs. By this time feelings of mild apprehension had gradually turned to fear, for the thick, gridded floor concealed nothing, either below or above. Consequently, the overriding impression was one of sheer disquiet, by no means alleviated by the distant, minimal illumination and a steady hum of machinery. Not surprisingly, visitors were reluctant to look down, for it was impossible not to realize that the ground was so far below. Yet this was not the only feature of the space Exit had made. For on the way up, one element might have gone unnoticed. In the course of their ascent, visitors may have come across one of several upright, rectangular metal containers. Peering inside, they were confronted by a black-and-white image on a screen.
But an image of what, exactly? Figures, never more than partial, seemed to be touching each other's bodies, not always kindly, as the image described a slow circle within the square monitor, which framed it. Like gazing into a well, the unexpectedness of this experience set up a chain of expectations, surprises, false impressions and lures. As the angle of the floor strained the feet, the proximity of the roof became more uncomfortable by the minute, and partial images appeared of these anonymous naked figures touching, their revolving images on the square screen resembling a puzzle, a taunt, a lure or all of these at once. One response was of relief, a sense of relative freedom. Not that the figures were necessarily making love – indeed, a definite degree of spite was also implied – but simply that in a place of almost military severity such an emotion seemed irrelevant, outlawed or even heretical, and for this reason spoke for some kind of freedom. Conversely, the circularity of the image denied this. For here, where gravity could be felt more strongly from one second to the next, the idea of a continuous test or penance remained uppermost in the mind. And as the visitor's powers of apprehension dwindled, the architecture became skewed, for unlike most floors these concealed nothing and the proximity of the ceiling made it necessary to stoop lower and lower as visitors moved upwards and became trapped. Indeed, here, of all places, the very idea of freedom was parodied. Those two figures were not necessarily performing an erotic or an affectionate act – they could just as easily have been fighting, for example – but, as if to offset violence, the shallow wells, not all of them evident to the viewer, proposed another, more sedate, circular rhythm, despite their offering a glimpse of a world that struck chords of jealousy or even of disgust. More than anything, the positions of others forced the visitor to concentrate only on his or her own discomfort. For here, near the roof, in a place which should have evoked dreams of warmth, enclosure and safety, the strain of the experience – the pressure on the feet; the ever-increasing problem of how to stand up­right; the darkness; the uncertainties caused by the gridded metal floor – gave rise to numerous ideas. Of cages; of technology used against us in subtle ways; of architecture which no
longer serves our needs but which has turned against humanity; of fantasies of escape defeated time and again by an underlying belief in the impossibility of doing so; above all, ideas of incarceration... For the noise and danger of Exit's previous London installation had given way to a subtler approach, and though the suspicion of bullying persisted, it seemed likely that this might sharpen the perception of some personal terror, not expressed in a personal way. In the past it was called Hell, and »Hell is other people,« we have been told.
But psychological analysis is only one way of interpreting Exit's work. Another might be myth and its use in the twentieth century. The myth of the failed quest played an important part in classic Modernism. (Consider the ruined chapels in T.S. Eliot's poem ›The Waste Land‹ or Djuna Barnes's novel ›Nightwood‹, both books with powerful reminders of the animal nature of humanity. Or, earlier than both, the same myth of the discovery of a ruined building in Robert Browning's ›Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came‹, with its terrifying use of grotesque.) In Till Exit's current work, however, both viewer and viewed were involved in a quest which turned out to be futile, at least if a revelation had been expected. For those prepared to banish the prospect of enlightenment, however, and consider instead the word »disappointment« – »I love it, I love it, I love it« wrote Robert Smithson in a notebook – the function of the tiring walk through one level after another became fraught with significance. Elements of fantasy were easily discerned, with Tarkovsky as a potential influence. Interdependent images of love and hate gave way to fear of internment, of losing the way or of terror at the prospect of exhausting one's energy simply by existing in such an unnatural space. The same fate may have awaited others, as the monitors indicated, with their images of simultaneous bickering and love - making. Or could these strange figures have been present for quite other reasons? Interrupting the starkness of the factory building with occasional images, visible only from one angle, suggested that they constituted a memorial to the time when people were still allowed to touch each other. (Now, finally, it seemed that they were near the stage of forgetting how inter-personal relations had ever functioned.) Walking back to ground level meant relinquishing these eerie images, those parodies of love, that vertiginous path. Outside, in sunlight, only a memory remained.

Stuart Morgan – London, Autumn 96

1996, „Exit, Origin, Silence"(englisch), Brian Catling

veröffentlicht im Buch "Kodierter Raum/Coded Space" 1997

The broad crumbling wooden stairway winds upwards from the broken traYc roar and persistent indifferent squalor of the Bow Road. The old nunnery is scented with decay and the fetid sound of squabbling pigeons. Silence waits for us on the fourth floor. There is no suggestion or hint of its nature: Till Exit has carefully baited his installation with the glimmer of unseen expectation. We enter. It is unnerving; we suddenly stand inside a disconnected territory, alien and lost to the domestic the moment the door shuts.
It is brittle, tense and industrial; a meshed metal floor supports us uncertainly in the darkness. The eyes strain, combating with the swirling inner ear to adjust to Wnd a viewpoint, a position on which to stand and safely understand this tilted interior plateau. Beneath us a slight insect whir and a discreet shift of light catch the attention; subtle and impervious mechanisms go about their business many feet below.
Time and cautious movements about the room convince us of its safety: we can walk about and see across its dimensions. Darker, more solid forms are there with us. Four rectangular columns rise into our mysterious space through the pierced floor. A faint halo of clouded light escapes from them and hovers on the ceiling above. The solidity of the rectangular shafts is reassuring, vaguely human in its proportions and in its ability to give scale to this place. Like wellheads in a desert, they are greeted with some relief, steadying perception with their sturdy insistence. Something is moving deep inside them, far down in their sullen grey interiors. Is it really possible on a bright day to see stars in the depth of a well; a celestial magnetic glimmer indifferent to our sun? Questions of myth and other-worldliness subtly stir in Exit´s imaginative machine. Human forms glow and glide in the luminescence below, as if underwater or prenatal, shifting from pure abstract form into torso and out again into light. A slow floating of anti-gravitational deliberation, drifting in negative so that when a profile moves it shimmers with a spectral aura; its own shadow seen in reverse. This phosphorescence of innocents separates them from the rigid field in which they are held and again suggests a time and a place beyond corporeal identity in the world. This offers us another paradox and slants the work in a different direction. It is possible to recognize the floating, touching torsos as male. Their intimacy is strange but conspicuous, mesmeric and alien. This sexual essence heightens the masculinity of the elements of the installation and simultaneously jars the prebirth image of containment into a political perspective.
The projection in each of the four shafts may be the same, their speed may be uniform, their action synchronous, but it is impossible to tell; the visual memory is not capable of sustaining an image at this pulse rate. The time it takes to move from one viewpoint to the next erases the stored picture of rotation; they cannot be compared in this way. Only their continual luminous motion embeds itself in our subconscious recognition.
So profound are the complex emotions stirred by ›Silence‹ that it is impossible and undesirable to critically unmesh their individual elements of physical structure and poetic response. This work is a skilful and imaginative generator of mystery, its final screen of projection and contact unveiled inside our voiceless beginnings and ends. The time has been dissolved. Some other, more mundane body clock points the disconnection and makes us look for the way out. On the far wall is the last sign; a sentence dimly written, pale gold, a font of Hebrew, the fire scrawl of Belshazzar's feast ? It is barely seen, a slow shifting whisper. No words at all but light escaping from the edge of the work. Not designed by the artist but given, leaked by the art. A title that can never be read or spoken, only deafeningly perceived like silence itself.
Brain Catling – Oxford, Autumn 96