Doug Aitken, Wilderness, 2022, Film stills, © Doug Aitken, Courtesy of the artist; 303 Gallery, New York; Galerie Eva Presenhuber, Zurich; Victoria Miro, London; Regen Projects, Los Angeles
Doug Aitken: Return to the Real
Sep 24, 2023 – Jun 16, 2024
SCHAUWERK Sindelfingen
Sindelfingen, Germany

From September 24, 2023 to June 16, 2024, SCHAUWERK Sindelfingen presents a solo exhibition of the American artist Doug Aitken (*1968). Aitken, a highly acclaimed artist with a career spanning over three decades, actively creates artwork across various mediums such as film, installation, sculpture, and performance. His art explores significant social developments of our time, delving into themes of alienation, isolation, and the complex relationships between humans, nature, and technology. The exhibition comprises of ten works from the past 15 years and includes installation, sculpture and moving image.

The video installation Wilderness is a highlight of the exhibition. The installation is designed in a circular format, with a 360-degree projection encompassing four screens. Created over a period of two and a half years on a beach in Los Angeles close to where Aitken lives and works. Geographically bounded by the restrictions of the Covid-19 pandemic, the artist went to the edge of the Pacific Ocean every day. He observed a recurring existential energy at sunset with the ebb and flow of people gathering on the beach and the primal ritual of watching the day transform into the darkness of night.

The second major installation is migration (empire) (2008). The work consists of three steel billboards, each equipped with five-metre-wide screens. Abandoned cities, houses and landscapes pass engaging the viewer in a visual road trip. The artwork was filmed in roadside motel rooms in different cities over thousands of miles across the USA. The work offers a series of vignettes showing North American migratory animals exploring these hotel rooms.

Sculptures, light boxes as well as mirror and wall works complete the presentation and provide an overview of Aitken’s work over the past 15 years and feature the recurring themes of the relationship between nature and civilization, between space and time, as well as the perception of everyday objects and the exploration of our present day.

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