The first floor of the Pinakothek in Munich is currently filled with enlightened lines of wall drawings, objects and installations, when the naturalness of the plant inherent in Living Room (2004) is being sensed, the spectator is able to connect her/is embodied space – called home – with Zilla Leutenegger’s exhibited apartment cycle of 400m^2.
Zilla drew the outlines of seven rooms onto the walls of the museum space herself. The cycle, now exhibited under the title Ring my Bell, started to come into being in 2004 with Living Room, Corridor, Office. In 2005, Kitchen, and Bedroom followed. Thinking in terms of architectural spatial experience, we can tell that we start our domesticated lives in the kitchen and end it in the bedroom. While the enlightened drawings Living Room and Office represent a two-dimensional idea of space, Kitchen and Bedroom are spread out over two large museums rooms. Each has its own rectangular-shaped window drawn onto the wall on the right side.
Carrying on walking through her cycle to the Library (2007), the visitor passes by other more recently created paper-based-framed drawings, a crystalline sculpture, a chair, and a colourful mobile made out of swinging Zs. In front of the drawing of bookshelves inside Library, an artificial spotlight illuminates a black chair from the opposite side of the room. Right there, one cannot help projecting the concept of Plato’s allegory of the cave onto one’s thoughts.
The effect and synergy of lights and shades are as important for the artist, as well as in relation to her own name. In Hebrew, Zilla means shadow. The atmosphere of her exhibition is therefore fully eventful, but also quietly calming; and this provides the museum spectator with the precious opportunity for establishing an inner dialogue with the projection of ourselves, a some kind of alter ego in a self-constructed domestic spaces.
Or rather, with Zilla Leutenegger’s alter ego Z. In her artist’s book, which accompanies the exhibition instead of an exhibition catalogue, Clemens Kümmel speculates within a short essay about Zilla’s alter ego. He relates the name Zilla to established terms within the world of art and literature. For example, to Z in Zeichung (drawing in German), to the hero’s name Zorro, for Nietzsche’s Zarathustra, or to Z in Zombie. Whatever this Z may connote, it contains one possible version of the Zilla we encounter inside the museum space.
Occupied with the harmonious amalgamation of drawings, sculptures and projections, the exhibition space creates a domestic feeling inside the spectator. An alter locus, for an alter ego. An inner place within one’s surrounding, the home-office, for example. But the apartment circle presented at the PdM idealises the work-life concept . In Zilla’s case, her alter locus is in balance with her alter ego. She is occupying her selfie. She is frei-schaffend: here, there and everywhere.
Originally published at Reflektor-M Munich,14/07/2015.