November 15 – December 23, 2011
Newman Popiashvili gallery is pleased to present a solo exhibition of Stephan Huber’s work, titled The Empire Strikes Back, a quote referring to both the well known movie and the title of one of Huber’s pieces, which is presented in the show.
The exhibition features maps, a group of small mountain sculptures attached to the wall and a video of a puppet show called Love and Peace. The maps on view constitute cartographic investigations of fictional spaces. By merging real maps with invented topography, Huber shifts the objectivity of cartography as a representative medium to a subjective description of the self. Huber makes use of these maps to survey his own personal biography, as well as the general state of the world.
The cluster of wall pieces is based on the artist’s favorite Sasso Lungo mountain. The mountain sculptures are constructed after the original, which is located in the Alps. The artist emphasizes the viewer’s spatial experience by bringing outside elements inside the gallery, distorting their scale and superimposing subjective biographical aspects.
Theatrical staging and multiplicity of meaning come into play in Love and Peace, a puppet performance that tells the story of famous Bavarian puppet Kasperl, who travels through time, back to 1968. Kasperl becomes a witness to Valerie Solana’s failed attempt at assassinating Andy Warhol, and encounters Timothy Leary and the Charles Manson family. The classical form of the puppet theater is retained throughout the film, showing an era that is viewed quite naively today. Love and Peace tells the story of the late sixties its youth and hippie movement, as well as its sudden demise, which was triggered by the Charles Manson murders and the killings at a Rolling Stones concert in Altamont.