20.05. – 03.06.2006
solo exhibition at Arndt & Partner, Zurich

With a solo exhibition of artist couple Muntean/Rosenblum at Arndt & Partner Zurich, Arndt & Partner are pleased to continue a successful cooperation that commenced at Arndt & Partner Berlin in 2004.
The works of Muntean/Rosenblum stage teenagers, whose blank facial expressions reveal, that they have learned to embody the stereotypical idea of beauty and of society, imposed on them by mass media. They are the products of a media society, they have understood the message of the advertising industry, nonetheless they are consciously or unconsciously longing for much more, as implicated by the "sub-titles" in the paintings. Precisely this yearning for security and approval, for affection and for a fulfilling goal of life makes the characters inter-changeable. Even though they are striving for individuality and uniqueness, the attempts repeatedly result in the convertibility of mass society, because they are oriented towards the same idols and patterns.
"The flood of images of the perfect body negates the real body and we want to make it visible again, in its entire mortality", says Markus Muntean. "An individual coming-of-age novel no longer exists that one may inscribe one's ego somewhere and take time to develop oneself".
The works of Muntean/Rosenblum focus on kinds of depiction, that are art-historically regarded as traditional formulas of Pathos. Muntean/Rosenblum broach the issue of mixing aesthetics and existence. If for Aby Warburg the meaning of a formula of Pathos rests primarily on its function as a symbolic pictorial code for researching the tradition of depiction, in Muntean/Rosenblum's work it can be understood as part of a physical self-concept and the construction of individuality and collectiveness. (Cosima Rainer in "There Is A Silence to Fill", exhibition catalogue Kunstverein Salzburg, 2003)
Muntean/Rosenblum give expression to their thus defined subject matters in many ways: besides their widely recognized works on canvas and their drawings, Muntean/Rosenblum further present their remix of art history and contemporary society in the media film and installation. Rarely, a theme has been discussed with such stringency, while exploring such a diverse range of different media.
"We are interested in cultural memory rather than phenomena of Zeitgeist. Our worlds are often read understood in the context of youth culture, but that is only one aspect of the work that is not predominant."
It is characteristic for the working method of the artists that a figurative composition is combined with a "sub-title" in capital letters on a white background. As a result the works shifts towards abstraction and the fragmentary qualities of the images are treated with irony. The seemingly deep, philosophical statements are assembled from excerpts taken from various magazines and philosophical texts.
The video work "Disco"(2005), presented adjacent to paintings and drawings in the exhibition, demonstrates a new interpretation of Théodore Gericault's painting "The Raft of the Medusa" from 1818/19. The painting illustrates the dramatic moment of rescue of a number of shipwrecked of the "Medusa", who had been drifting on the open sea on an odyssey of several weeks lacking water and food. In slow, quiet recordings the artists generate scenes resembling Tableau Vivants of the 19th century. In case of "Disco", the preceding, invisible catastrophe had happened under a mirror ball on the dance floor of a club. Like in Gericault's composition the muscular bodies of the survivors pile up in a dynamic triangular composition on the steps to the dance floor, culminating in a standard bearer calling for attention with help of a white flag. Arias from an Händel opera atmospherically accompany with the scene. A young girl that had been seen dressed as a cleaner before turns into a weeping saint appearing to mourn over the fate of the salvaged.
The Austrian Markus Muntean and Israeli Adi Rosenblum have been collaborating under the label Muntean/Rosenblum since 1992. They live and work in London and Vienna.
This autumn the MUSAC, Museo de Arte contemporaneo de Castilla y Lèon, Spain, will present their work in a comprehensive solo exhibition and in 2007 their work will be shown in a solo show at Galerie für Zeitgenössische Kunst in Leipzig. Their exhibition history of the past years comprises solo exhibitions in renowned museums: in 2005 the artists were on show in solo presentations in London, San Francisco, Berlin and Vienna. In 2004, Tate Britain, London, and the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Melbourne, dedicated large solo exhibitions to them. In 2004 alone, the list of group exhibitions they participated in, includes the Sao Paolo Biennale, the Saatchi Gallery, London, the Museum für Angewandte Kunst, Vienna, as well as the Museum für Fotografie, Braunschweig, Germany.