‘Zeitgeist’ is the first exhibition of works by Oscar-winning Swiss surrealist HR Giger in my hometown Leipzig, Germany. I’ve been fascinated with his work since I discovered his creations in the successful Alien-movies in the 90s. Unfortunately, I have never had the chance to visit his famous Giger Museum in Gruyéres, Switzerland, so I was very curious to see if the curators of the Sansvoix gallery would be able to transmit the claustrophobic atmosphere of Giger’s work into a very different environment.
The exhibition area in Leipzig is a big, white space with lots of natural light. The result is a very clean presentation, as you can see in the images below. Although I personally would have preferred a much darker composition, it allowed the viewer to discover all the finer details, particularly in Giger’s airbrush paintings – it’s not only the big picture that matters, but the smallest nuances as well. You’ll find layer upon layer of weird structures that form bodies of what appear to be hyper-humans sleeping – or being penetrated! Giger’s main topics revolve around birth, sex, machines, sleep, dreams and religion.
His nightmarish phantasies often show the fusion of man and machine, what he calls ‘biomechanics’. The artist later took his vision into interior design – the chairs and tables are really one of kind, it’s hard to image these wonderful pieces in a real living room instead of a movie set.
Centerpieces of the exhibition are undeniably the impressive sculpture of the well-known Alien and his furniture design for the set of the movie ‘Dune’ (which wasn’t used when David Lynch directed it at last).
Even though lots of the pictures are authorized reproductions, it’s worth attending the exhibition just to see the Harkonnen Chairs and the excessively large triptychs. It literally makes you feel small and it’s fun to discover the anatomy and ideas behind these rare displays.
You find the gallery Sansvoix in Brandenburgerstraße 2, 04103 Leipzig (Germany) open on Wed-Sun from 2-6pm. The Zeitgeist exhibition is on show until June 13th 2014.