Claudia & Julia Müller, Installation view, Bonner Kunstverein, 2008. Photo: Alistair Overbruck
In a world pervaded by fears and desires, the distinction between being and seeming is in the eye of the beholder. For their solo presentation at the Bonn Kunstverein, the artists Claudia and Julia Müller (*1965, *1964, live in Basel) have designed rooms of illusion. Starting out with their graphic work, a dispositive unfolds, whose unstable semantic carriers are linked in a changeable narrative structure. Similar to an ancestral portrait gallery, the sisters stage a series of flip-flop pictures that, designed as multiple wall collages, take in the room’s full height of six meters. The double portraits involve the viewer in a game of different, yet simultaneous contexts.
The coupling and the pictorial union of political figures, animal and man, freedom fighters, carnival merrymakers and figures from the contemporary media world call up an absurd, vanity-fair society. Shadow projections and masquerades, silhouettes and three-dimensional elements, doubling and inversion, all serve as a means of presenting outward illusion in its proper light. In between the wall collages, small-scale work series from the past five years alternate. A collection of pictures and collages somewhere between (art) historical models, everyday media reality and science fiction serve as the basis. In the installation at the Bonner Kunstverein, the pictures merge into a complex narration of the story and the fear of our possible cultural molding in the present-day world.