There Is No Place Like Home

2014, MDF, Mirror, Glass, Motor, Electronics, 125 x 100 x 44 cm

In his works, Bernd Oppl addresses various forms of spatial experience, with architecture and film serving as especially significant subjects of exploration. Time and again, the artist takes the viewer to the early history of film and cinema in order to examine the mechanisms of film perception and to disclose how much film and photography have influenced our viewing experiences. In addition to video sculptures, spatial models and photographs, Oppl also builds kinetic devices in which he sets moments of illusion and visual tricks against technology. In There Is No Place Like Home, two revolving discs, on which seemingly poetic images of clouds are printed, protrude laterally from an apparatus painted black. When looking through a peephole from above, the inter-rotating discs make the clouds appear to move in fast motion. In the midst of the stormy sky the viewer sees a house that looks duplicated by the use of mirrors. As ever so often in Oppl’s works, it refers to a film, the flying house gripped by a hurricane in the American children’s book “The Wizard of Oz” (1900) which was made into a film in 1939. We are quasi witnessing the onset of an adventurous journey into a fictitious, imaginary world in which the house is shown as a place of instability, giving rise to the question of how reliable our cozy little homes really are.

Beate Ermacora