Ulrich Gebert examines in his installations and photographic work the relationship between man and nature as it is shaped by culture. His approach combines an occasionally humorous enthusiasm for the subject with a rather critical and distanced view of the interested observer. His works – that oftentimes base upon found material – prove how humans reveal insights into their very own being through their intercourse with nature, i.e. with animals and plants.
Ulrich Gebert’s solo exhibition A Breed Apart debates – besides the question about the relationship between ‘man/nature’ in a particular way the play of appropriated image material, found objects and the aesthetics of different material and forms of display. In a loose arrangement of installations he sets into relation several new group of works.
The central element in the space is an arrangement of several pedestals and plinths that display a collection of modified objects. These wooden architectures refer only rudimentarily to their original purpose as animal housings – they rather seem to be located somewhere between ‘rec room’, ‘Heimatfilm’ (German sentimental film with regional background) and high-rise bunker.
A similar sharpening or exaggeration can be found in the image cycles: the gestures and composures during the dressage and performance reach almost a slapstick-like quality as soon as they lack their counterpart whereas the misshapen, furry balls become proof of the total reification of a living being.
The effect of the works in A Breed Apart derives from the conscious use of crude aesthetics and well-directed psychological charging. Profound humor, a compassionate perspective and the love for detail are essential parameters here.
Ulrich Gebert has the actual subject of the images and objects, i.e. the animal as a being to be domesticated or as faithful companion, appear only in strong alteration or not at all. Like an invisible replacement character it reveals even more articulately the oftentimes absurd and always to be questioned character of human thinking and action.