Pacific Ocean, 1969
Pacific Ocean, 1969
Pacific Ocean, 1969

Pacific Ocean, 1969

RothStauffenberg (German)

Not Currently on View
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The German artists Christopher Roth and Franz Stauffenberg create multi-media environments out of found text, film, and objects—including elements of prior artworks “remixed” in new formats. The artists have worked together since 1989, adopting the name RothStauffenberg in the year 2000.

In this exhibition, RothStauffenberg adapted a number of existing pieces particularly for the Indianapolis Museum of Art. The four artworks in the Off the Wall Gallery illustrate the artists’ idea of “in-between” time. Their Timecoded Wallpaper (1995–2006) is accompanied by a series of works called Pacific Ocean, 1969 (2000), all of which are based on airplane “black box” recordings. Cockpit voice recorders perpetually record sound, erasing older material in the process. The artists look to this device as one that simultaneously documents and erases immediate histories.

In the Carmen & Mark Holeman Gallery adjacent to the balcony hall, RothStauffenberg’s open-narrative collage, Schall und Rauch (“Smoke and Mirrors,” 2004–2006) is also on view. The German expression Schall und Rauch means “hollow words.” This installation incorporates simple, sometimes arbitrary, found materials, creating an environment of experiences that range in tone from poignant to disturbing to preposterous. The piece includes a multiple-part film (taken from found film footage) that then extends into the three-dimensional space of the room with a sequence of objects and imagery: a broken wall, a toy car, a movie poster.

For the project at IMA, RothStauffenberg pieced together diverse recorded matter in order to consider the relationships between time, narrative, and memory. The artists use the black box, a device that records and forgets simultaneously, to produce a “screenplay” shaped by the machineries of memory and documentation. The “fourth dimension” of time is materially present in timecode, plastered across the gallery walls, which permeates the contextual environment of the galleries and extends the artwork into the lived experience of the audience.

The Off the Wall project series invites emerging or experimental artists and artist groups to create new works for IMA. Off the Wall was inaugurated in November 2005, with the reopening of the contemporary galleries.

Esther Schipper Gallery, Berlin, Germany; given to the Indianapolis Museum of Art in 2007.

Object Information

RothStauffenberg (German)
creation date
two Lamda-prints mounted on aluminum, framed, DVD video
A-B) prints: 33 1/16 x 23 3/8 in. (each)
C) DVD video: 9 min 27 sec, looped
accession number
credit line
Gift of Rothstauffenberg and Esther Schipper, Berlin
© Artists Rights Society (ARS)
Contemporary Art

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