This event has now finished. Until May 30 2010
Time Out says
Peering into Markus Selg's atmospheric installation through its hanging sackcloth doorway is to come blinking out of the Hackney light into the Black Forest. Or, more specifically, into the wilds and mountain ranges of the Czech Republic, where the artist lived in self-imposed retreat while whittling away at these naive pagan carvings and pieces of homespun furniture.
His neo-romantic idea of the artist as lonely backwoodsman - an almost literal translation of Nietzsche's ‹bermensch or Superman who brings forth culture from uncivilised hands - is both staggeringly authentic and highly staged. The lighting is theatrical, the primitive prints actually digitally made and everything is placed knowingly just so. Yet his primitive sculptures of an Adam and Eve coupling and two solitary, totemic idols, speak of old-fashioned handiwork and a bygone devotion to craft, a quaint notion that is backed up by Selg's epic half-hour film, 'Destiny'.
One whole wall screens the heroic tale of an artist who trudges through crisp white tundra, falls to his face in exhaustion and then miraculously rouses himself back to life. There's more than a whiff of Werner Herzog to the beautiful, glacial imagery, the accompanying arias and his impressive attempt to truly inhabit the outlander persona (turns out Selg has shown alongside Herzog), all of which adds to the immersive theatre of the show, topped off by a pair of rustic, charred wooden boxes containing glowing dioramas of biblical, backlit skies awaiting their miniature players.
The second room doesn't quite reach the same heights, through its repetition of the penitent video bench and retro prints, but stays on the right side of 'Blair Witch Project' spookiness. Selg aptly titles the show 'A New Beginning', because not only is he the heir to German expressionism and the origin myths of Anselm Kiefer, but he also offers a way out of such stylistic cul-de-sacs of the past. A true Renaissance man, or as they say in German, an Allroundtalent.