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'Am Zahn - der Zorn' by Jonas Wiese and Lennart Mink Weber at Galerie Raumlinksrechts, Hamburg

“AM ZAHN - DER ZORN” is a sound and sculpture installation by Lennart Mink Weber (sculptures) and Jonas Wiese (sound). Translating to English roughly as “the rage on a tooth”, the installation comprises of a large central sculpture, five wall sculptures and a soundtrack that fills the gallery space and leaks outside through small open windows. As it was installed right before the corona lockdown, the exhibition was designed to be viewable also from outside, through the gallery’s display window.

The installation uses the construct of a dentist’s clinic as a point of departure and reinvents its various elements as poetic devices. 

The central sculpture resonates in its diagonal outline and central position a dentist’s chair. Its dynamic structure of curving wood and metal tubes and planks implies the logic of an instrument of some mysterious sort, and its title, “Gesetz” (“law”) brings forth a reference to Kafka’s world of spiral and unintelligible justice systems. While the dentist’s chair is sometimes thought of as an arena of physical torture, the torture implied by this sculpture is a mental one - It’s the torture of repeatedly trying to follow the logic of a complex structure, only to reach a hidden loop or a dead end, never discovering how it actually works.

The three wall sculptures titled “Molar 6er”, “Molar 7er” and “Molar 8er”, after the serial numbers of permanent molar teeth, are built as strange display devices for cartoonish drawings of molar teeth flying through the air with great thrust. There is a stark contrast between the dramatic drawings and the orderly construction of the frames, which resonates the contrast between the serene design of a dentist’s clinic and the intense nature of what happens there. Through the frames metal chains are entwined, clasping the drawings and playfully hiding and revealing them, as if unsure whether the horror they depict should be displayed or hidden.

Another wall sculpture, titled “Wächter” (“guard”), is a disinfectant dispenser on top of which sits a chewed up piece of polyurethane. The chewing marks make the structure of the dispenser resonate that of a jaw, which slowly opens and closes as the handle is pushed down to release disinfectant. It is indeed a guard of some sort, meant to protect against infection, but its slowly moving jaw and disinfectant drool make it a very unnerving and unreliable one.

The final wall sculpture, titled “X”, is an x made of stripes of decorative wood veneer, placed high up on the central wall of the space. The x stands both for the unknown, the variable that needs to be discovered, and for failure, for mistakes that get crossed out. Like in other works in the exhibition, these two states seem to merge into one, and then turn into a haunting decoration.

The sound piece, titled “Delir” (“delirium”) is composed of electronic tones and recordings of various things, from mechanical hisses, buzzes and drones to unidentified objects ripping, wrinkling or dropping. It is very cinematic, like the sound of a tense film sequence that combines suspenseful background music with sound effects of things happening on screen. This cinematic quality turns the gallery space into an arena of ghostly occurrences, heard but not seen, which at times attach themselves to the physical objects in the space.“

— Noi Fuhrer

23.3.20 — 10.5.20

Photo by Volker Renner

Galerie Raumlinksrechts

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