Alfons Schilling

Gazelle, 1993
Installation, Prismen, Holzstaffelei, gefundenes Material
Sammlung Werner Nekes, Mülheim an der Ruhr

Since the sixties, Alfons Schilling has concerned himself with perceptual conditions in an environment defined by mediatised images and accelerated technology. He constructs machines for viewing that catapult our vision into the world or – by contrast – permit a concentrated view of a section of this world in a portable camera obscura, for example. To create Gazelle, Schilling mounted an apparatus equipped with prisms and mirrors onto the lower part of an easel. The device is aimed at a heap of things carelessly discarded in the corner, things that could have been left behind when setting up the exhibition. Looking through the apparatus, one sees an astonishing image, for it reverses every spatial reference: whatever lies in the foreground seems to slip backwards, whatever was on the left has been pushed to the right, and hollowed-out forms appear as a plastic relief. To this extent, Schilling manipulates our view of the room, enabling us to realise that our perception of things may definitely deviate from real conditions, since it is connected to a mental process.

Alfons Schilling (born 1934) lives in Vienna.