'Welcome to Gelatin and have a nice day!' Gelatin is taking over Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen’s large Bodon Galleries in May. Tobias Urban, Wolfgang Gantner, Florian Reither and Ali Janka are known for creating sensational situations that create interactions between people. The work of these internationally celebrated artists is known for its humour, disorder, absurdity and the active participation of the public. A fully functioning rollercoaster made from wood and plastic tubing, a lift that replaces electricity with manpower, a 50-metre-long toy rabbit in the mountains of Italy, and a rowing lake on the roof of a building: in their works, they attempt to get visitors actively involved, to stimulate their senses and to interrupt their daily routines in a radical fashion.
In the sculpture exhibition Vorm – Fellows – Attitude, Gelatin explores the human condition in an overtly playful manner. Their point of departure is the value of taboo-breaking confrontation and the liberated, light-hearted perspective that we have as young children. Gelatin invites visitors to step into this uninhibited world, to leave behind their adult identity and to feel like children again.
Vorm – Fellows – Attitude is a celebration of curiosity, of an open mind, and of judgement-free experiences and the absence of hierarchy and social conventions. The exhibition turns the museum’s normal activities on their head in a humorous manner. A visit to Vorm – Fellows – Attitude promises to be a true experience.
The members of Gelatin are among the world’s leading artists today. Since 1993, they have appealed to an international public through high-profile exhibitions across the globe. Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen is bringing the artists to Rotterdam for their first major solo exhibition in the Netherlands. With their exhibition Vorm – Fellows – Attitude, created specially for the Bodon Galleries, Gelatin is adding a unique work to its absurd and provocative oeuvre.
Gelatin works on the border between painting, sculpture, pop music, architecture, sport, performance, fashion, stage events and spontaneous conversations. Gelatin is therefore also difficult to categorise. Boijmans’ curator Francesco Stocchi compares Gelatin to a bar of soap: ‘Just when you think you’ve got a grip on them, they slip away again and you hold their essence in your hands.’
Disruptive and provocative
Wolfgang Gantner, Ali Janka, Florian Reither and Tobias Urban met during a summer camp in 1978. They have worked together since 1993 and have shaken up the international contemporary art scene with their remarkable and disruptive work.
Startling Gelatin projects have included Human Elevator, 1999: a lift employing human muscle power in Los Angeles; The B Thing staged in New York in 2000, when Gelatin installed a temporary balcony on the ninety-first floor of the World Trade Centre; Nellanutella, 2001 where they plunged into Venice’s canals for the Biennale; True Love IV, 2002, a wooden rocket in South Korea; Gelitin at the Shore of Lake Pipi Kacka, 2003: a human birthday cake in London; and Otto Volante, 2004, a self-made functioning rollercoaster in Galleria Massimo De Carlo in Milan.
More recently Gelatin has created a gigantic human objectcopier (Tantamounter 24/7, 2005); a 50-metre-long pink rabbit in the Italian mountains (Hase / Rabbit / Coniglio, 2005); a sculpture of frozen urine for the 1st Moscow Biennial (Zapf de Pipi, 2005); a lake with rowing boats on a terrace of the Hayward Gallery, London (Normally, Proceeding and Unrestricted with Without Title, 2008); a sculpture of a gigantic nose by the Danube near Sankt Lorenz in Austria (The Wachauer Nase, 2014) and a hundred illuminated balloons in a cave in Puerto Rico (Cave Show, 2014). At Fondazione Prada in Milan, Gelatin produced a rebellious interpretation of three classical architectural archetypes: an obelisk, a triumphal arch and a Colosseum-like structure (Pokalypsea Apokalypse Okalypseap, 2017).
World-class talent in Museum Boijmans van Beuningen
This exhibition follows a now-established tradition at Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen of giving the stage – and total artistic freedom – to internationally renowned artists as they exhibit within a major Dutch institution for the first time. Previously, the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen has shown Urs Fischer (2006), Erik van Lieshout (2006), Andreas Slominski (2007), Pipilotti Rist (2009), Carsten Höller (2010), Ugo Rondinone (2016) and Tal R (2017).
Gelatin is now being added to this list. Their rebellious, playful and radical way of making art is already known to some people in the Netherlands through shows at Sonsbeek 9 and the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten. Vorm – Fellows – Attitude at Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen will be Gelatin’s first solo exhibition in a Dutch museum.
Sjarel Ex, Director of Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen notes: “Gelatin demand free thinking. They are exciting, deeply challenging and always make us feel uncomfortable. And yet their work – the emotion from their work – this remains with you far beyond its physical existence. Each year we give the floor to a major artist of international standing: this freedom of approach is in Boijmans’ DNA, and who we are.”
Gelatin is the most important Austrian art collective. Their provocative and disruptive performances, installations and exhibitions enjoy international fame.
Gelatin comprises four artists (Wolfgang Gantner, Ali Janka, Florian Reither and Tobias Urban), who first met during a summer camp in 1978. Since 1993, they have been working together and participating at international institutions, private galleries, festivals, independent organisations and public spaces.
In 2001, Gelatin represented Austria at the 49th Venice Biennale, and subsequently took part in the 2007 and 2009 editions, and in 2011 exhibited the artwork Some Like It Hot at the Gelatin Pavilion during the 54th Venice Biennale, curated by Bice Curiger. Gelatin have also been included in various biennials and international shows such as the Aichi Triennale at the Nagoya City Art Museum in Japan (2010), the Anzengruber Biennale in Vienna, Austria (2009), the Moscow Biennial of Contemporary Art in Russia (2005), the Yugoslav Biennal of Young Artists in Serbia (2004), the Gwangju Biennale in Korea (2002), the Shanghai Biennale in China (2002), the Liverpool Biennial in the UK (2002, 1999) and the In Between EXPO 2000 in Hanover, Germany (2000).
Among their most recent exhibitions and performances are New York Golem at Greene Naftali in New York, Gelitin Gelitin Gelintin at Galerie Perrotin in Hong Kong, The Guild of Giving for Manifesta 11 at Cabaret Voltaire in Zurich and Prosospopoiea at Galleria Massimo De Carlo Gallery in London.
They were recently included in the group shows How To Live Together, curated by Nicolaus Schafhausen at Kunsthalle Wien in Vienna, Franz West – Artistclub at 21er Haus – Museum of Contemporary Art in Vienna, Home Improvements, curated by John Waters at Fraenkel Gallery in San Francisco, The Avant-Garde Won’t Give Up: Cobra and Its Legacy, curated by Alison M. Gingeras at Blum & Poe in Los Angeles, Punk: Its Traces In Contemporary Art at CA2M – Centro de Arte Dos de Mayo in Madrid and Tribute to Flux Labyrinth (1976/2015) for Frieze Projects New York during the Frieze Art Fair in New York.
With the generous support of
This exhibition has been produced in cooperation with Phileas – A Fund for Contemporary Art and with the generous support of legero united – the shoemakers and their initiative www.con-tempus.eu