Tobias Yves Zintel: Mental Radio
Exhibition dates: July 20 - September 8, 2012
Opening reception with the artist: Thursday, July 19, 2012, 7 - 9 p.m.
The film work by Tobias Yves Zintel integrates various genres such as performance, installation, music, and theater. He makes films in an idiosyncratic visual language, confronting us with scenes of grotesqueries, mysterious actions, and sublime universes.
Zintel’s second solo show at the Barbara Gross Galerie features his latest film, Mental Radio, and a second film, Earthly Powers (2011). Both films are portraits of real places and their inhabitants. Architecture and nature form a storehouse of experiences of time that are revealed through the narrative, as well as the actions of the protagonists. Zintel makes use of interviews to provide the audience with access to extraordinary lives. By mixing the format of the documentary film with staged interventions, the viewer remains uncertain about what is reality and what is fition.
Mental Radio is a filmed portrait about the artist’s family: his parents, his brother, and the house in which they live. The house is the framework for the social construct of the family. The brother is an autistic person, as well as deaf and mute. Day in and day out, he makes drawings of his favorite animal, the pig. Communication between parents and son seems to be guided by extra-sensory forces, which Zintel visualizes in scenes of effective surrealistic power. Objects, such as a tree house built by the father, and an ectoplasmic sculpture made of meringue and baked by the mother, replace verbal exchanges in the house. Sounds of nature and musical pieces composed for the film by the band Pollyester and Daniel Murena, along with the continuous sound of the radio, form the film’s acoustic setting.
Mental Radio, the film’s title, is taken from the title of a book written in 1930 by Upton Sinclair, which describes the experiments conducted with his wife, who had telepathic powers. Besides the attempt to trace the inexplicable things in a family constellation, Zintel also grapples with the question of how to deal with the mentally ill in our society.
About the film Earthly Powers (2011) David François Misteli wrote: “The film documents the German band Pollyester’s journey to the United States. The trip takes them to the Catskill Mountains, a quiet region that was once an upscale resort area for wealthy New Yorkers, with a lively music scene, but is today just a shadow of itself. It begins with the portrait of a small, oddball community of artists, musicians, and others in a place where no one actually wants to be any more. Oscillating between monument and memorial, these and other forsaken towns in the region are enlivened by the band’s music.”
Tobias Yves Zintel, born in 1975 in Passau, lives and works in Berlin. He studied under Joseph Kosuth at the
Akademie der Bildenden Künste in Munich. Solo exhibitions: Mo David North Gallery, Glen Wild, New York, 2011; Honor Fraser Gallery, Los Angeles, 2010; Barbara Gross Galerie, Munich, 2007; Münchner Kammerspiele, 2006 & 2008. Group exhibitions (selected): Doris McCarthy Gallery, Toronto, 2012; Hebbel am Ufer, Berlin 2010 & 2012; Biennial, Glasgow, 2012; Espacio Vacio, Guayaquil, 2011; Aando Fine Art, Berlin, 2011; Luxus Loft, Berlin, 2011;
The Office, Berlin, 2009; Lenbachhaus, Munich, 2008; ZKMax, Munich, 2008; Städtische Kunsthalle Lothringer 13, Munich, 2006; Festival Paradiso, Amsterdam, 2005; Kunstbau Lenbachhaus, Munich, 2005; Club-transmediale, Maria am Ostbahnhof, Berlin, 2005
Video works for stage productions since 2005: Schauspiel Frankfurt; Thalia Theater, Hamburg; Volkstheater, Vienna; Münchner Kammerspiele; Maxim Gorki Theater, Berlin; Neumarkt Theater, Zurich; Theater Basel; 2013 stage installation and film for Der Ring, Next Generation, Deutsche Oper, Berlin.
Film screenings since 2006: Haus der Kunst, Munich; Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus, Munich; Centre Pompidou, Paris; Reina Sofia National Museum, Madrid; Makan, Amman; Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin; Jeu de Paume, Paris