"At the end of November of this year, changes will be made in and around Portikus for exhibition # 76. Within the framework of this project, we request your suggestions." This is the beginning of a leaflet by the artist Tobias Rehberger distributed at Portikus and addressing the visitors of the previous two exhibitions (# 74 Esko Männikkö, # 75 Semikolon). Recommendations and suggestions for changing the architecture and infrastructure of Portikus (outdoor grounds, façade, skylight, floor, library, supervision staff, furnishing, etc.) serve as the basis for Tobias Rehberger's artistic approach. Only those suggestions with a practical, functional background are realised; suggestions for aesthetic "beautification" are not - as this has nothing to do with an approach in the sense of aesthetic judgement ("this is nicer than that"), but rather with the functional and production-oriented context of visitor - artist - object. The formal aesthetic realisation lies with the artist.

Photos: Katrin Schilling

One visitor, for example, wished he could hear his steps on the floor of the exhibition hall. For the course of the exhibition, a green wooden floor is put in on top of the entire linoleum floor of Portikus, which usually absorbs all sounds. Now, all steps and other sounds will reverberate. Another visitor suggested setting up seats in the exhibition space. For this, Rehberger created wheeled stools covered with different-coloured rope, like the pattern-obsessed design of the 70s. The border between that what we see as an autonomous sculpture and what we oversee as a functional object is thus blurred. Tobias Rehberger irritates deep-rooted perceptual structures, opening the view for surprisingly different, new connections.

Tobias Rehberger was born in 1966 in Esslingen and studied at the Städelschule under Thomas Bayrle and Martin Kippenberger. He lives and works in Frankfurt am Main.