Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst‘s exhibition The Law of the Unknown Neighbor: Inferno Romanticized is Stephen G. Rhodes‘ first solo show at a European art institution.
The historical and cultural based installation on show will combine a variety of media creating distinctive restless and elliptical systems in which Rhodes addresses issues such as repression and trauma. But in spite of appearences Stephen G. Rhodes visualization of history is not a concrete and objective representation but a critical reinterpretation where everything stands for more than it seems.
For his installation The Law of the Unknown Neighbor: Inferno Romanticized, Rhodes draws on the famous “Lecture on Serpent Ritual: A Travel Report” (also known as “Images from the Region of the Pueblo Indians of North America”) Aby Warburg (1866–1929) delivered in 1923 at the Bellevue psychiatric hospital in Kreuzlingen, where he was a patient.
The installation is a labyrinthic arrangement of furniture objects – such as hospital curtains and the shelves of a library – with a projection of short looped sequences onto walls and curtains that remind us of the tradition of the Expanded Cinema. The feeling conveied by “The Law of the Unknown Neighbor: Inferno Romanticized” is a sense of lack of control expressing the issue of trauma which is a central theme in Stephen G. Rhodes’ research. In the artist’s view it constitutes a form of historiography distinguished by its non-linear character.
Stephen G. Rhodes has presented his art in solo exhibitions at Galerie Isabella Bortolozzi (2012), Berlin, the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2010), and elsewhere; in 2009, he contributed to the New Museum Triennial, New York.
The exhibition at the Migros Museum will be accompanied by the first monograph about Stephen G. Rhodes including essays by Raphael Gygax, Brian Price, John David Rhodes, Stephen G. Rhodes, Laurence A. Rickels, and Keston Sutherland, it will be published by JRP|Ringier.
The exhibition is curated by Raphael Gygax (curator, Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst).