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You've got beautiful stairs, you know
Kunstverein München
27 February 2016 – 24 April 2016

A truck is coming from an undisclosed location in the Netherlands. It will stop at a stuffed sauna in Düsseldorf, where Ola Vasiljeva has been hiding the rest of her work. Its wheels will be sagging under the weight of the artist’s entire output, but the truck will nonetheless arrive at Kunstverein München — and early. Here, the widths and heights of the doorways and stairwells will co-curate the exhibition by determining what goes upstairs, and what doesn’t. Ola will determine the rest slowly, by pacing the three exhibition rooms and arranging piled constellations of nearly everything she’s ever made, or conversing in Russian with a florist in Brussels via telephone.

Ola’s practice is not easy. It’s complicated and interdisciplinary. Whether it’s a sculpture, a video, a drawing, a zine, a slide show, an installation, or any combination thereof, her works are often referred to as ‘props’. They aren’t exactly theatrical, yet they do seem to have been born in the margins of a theater play (or in the footnotes of disparate texts). And ‘props’ can sound like ‘prompts’ in certain dialects. Towards learning Vasiljeva’s, there will be an audio guide to split the difference. We’ll rely on it, with headphones.

Chris Fitzpatrick

Photos by Johannes Schwartz