Visual Artist Michael Riedel Speaks on "Powerpoint" Art Exhibit
German conceptual artist Michael Riedel's fourth solo exhibition at David Zwirner mines modern day methods of communication to reflect on the space that exists in the digital divide. Riedel invited the German-Italian electronic duo Woog Riots to interpret the show details (such as the date, time, and location) word-for-word in catchy vocals over a peppy synthesizer and an up tempo backbeat. The song was then sent out in CD format in place of a traditional invitation. This aspect of Riedel's new show is just the kind of textual communication process that fascinates the German artist, making for a body of work that is both heady humorous.
Riedel has a history of looking at the way his artwork is interpreted in text, using bits of copy extracted from printed articles and advertisements as source material. In a prior exhibition Poster Paintings, he made silk-screened paintings from copy-and-pasted text, which he extracted from websites documenting his work. For his new show, Powerpoint, his paintings investigate the action that takes place within Powerpoint, the software program that he has used to present his artwork in the past.
For Powerpoint, Riedel honed in on a feature of the software program that occurs in the transition of slides between two images. He has created a new series of paintings that capture, in essence, the effect that occurs between clicks. He displays the paintings against wallpapered patterns taken from the Poster Paintings series. Riedel lives and works in Frankfurt, where his work was the subject of a major survey last year at the Schirn Kunsthalle. Life + Times spoke to Riedel about Powerpoint, which runs through Mar. 23 in New York City.