Andrew Kreps Gallery presents “Emergency Blanket“, Klaus Weber’s fourth exhibition with the gallery.
Upon entering the gallery, the viewer is confronted by a singular, outstretched figure, cloaked by a highly reflective emergency blanket. First presented as part of the 13th Biennale de Lyon, 2015, the work was cast by Weber from a person lying under an emergency blanket. This surface, which itself is a simulation of metal, was realized in solid bronze, later coated in aluminum through a process that turns plastic foils into metal ones – in effect, replicating the sources’ original mimicry, and creating a tautological relationship between the original and its copy. Placed on top of a real yoga mat, the work sinks into the soft surface with its weight, and begins to unveil its contradictions – the materials of leisure confronted with those of disaster, and the simulation of fragility made solid.
This circular logic is furthered by the appearance of the work’s surface, achieved in collaboration with Klobe, a German corporation that first developed the material now used for contemporary emergency blankets during World War II. Originally used within searchlights, the shimmering surface now highlights the sensual qualities of the blanket’s folds, which conflicts the works references made familiar by the current news cycle and ongoing refugee crises. Likening this drapery to classical sculpture, the work simultaneously challenges, and participates within a dialogue surrounding the aestheticization of disaster.
Klaus Weber lives and works in Berlin. Weber’s work has been the subject of solo exhibitions at numerous institutions, which include Fondazione Morra Greco, Naples, 2013, Nottingham Contemporary, Nottingham, 2011, Secession, Vienna, 2008, and the Hayward Gallery, London, 2007. His work has additionally been included in group exhibitions at Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna, 2016, KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin, 2015, Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin, 2015, 13th Biennale de Lyon, 2015, Glasgow International, 2014, Frankfurter Kunstverein, Frankfurt, 2013, among others.