Kevin Schmidt (born 1972, lives in Vancouver and Berlin) not only deals with the functionality,
production and criticism of diverse forms of mass entertainment in his films, installations and actions but also with idealised notions of nature. Schmidt captures for example spectacular natural events or phenomena on photographs or in films that then find their way into the exhibitions space while electronic beats, light effects or artificial patches of fog are transferred to an unspoiled and seemingly unimpressed nature. In equally radical and clever as well as humorous displacements of the spectacle – on occasion in a protracted and highly effective DIY manner – Kevin Schmidt inevitably poses questions concerning entertainment’s value, strategies and manipulative potentials. In the process, the viewer is always also the consumer of an event that challenges him to question his own reception habits.
Kevin Schmidt now presents his most recent experiment Harmless High Altitude Balloon Amateur RadioEquipment (2013/14) in the Remise of the Kunstverein Braunschweig. A wall-filling projection shows a photograph of the stratosphere that is so large that the viewer almost feels himself floating in outer space. Schmidt presents his equipment in the adjoining space: a weather balloon and a self-made large-format camera. The artist constructed the camera from such materials as duct tape, polystyrene, wooden picks and rubber bands which, driven by a weather balloon, was able to capture the convex curvature of the earth in a nearly immaculate large-format image at an altitude of 35,000 metres. This is in turn presented by means of a hand-made slide Projector. An artist’s book will be published during the exhibition in which Kevin Schmidt provides detailed, step-by-step instructions on how to emulate the project and produce one’s own image of the world. By doing so, Schmidt not only questions art’s already long-democratised production methods in question but also his own role as an artist.
Kevin Schmidt was the 2013 Artist-in-Residence at the Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin, and is
presently the BS Projects grant holder at the HBK Braunschweig. His works have already been presented internationally in solo and group shows, for example at the Kunstverein Hannover, the Bielefeld Kunstverein, the Power Plant in Toronto and most recently at the Contemporary Art Gallery in Vancouver.
The exhibition is supported by:
Niedersächsisches Ministerium für Wissenschaft und Kultur
Botschaft von Kanada