David Rauer has built a Panopticon for the surveillance of public space in the Recklinghausen Arkadien, giving visitors the chance to observe the immediate surroundings with an archaic earpiece and mirror machines, without however, remaining anonymous themselves. The simultaneous presence of one’s self as part of the apparatus redefines the relationship between the roles of the observer and the object being observed.
Located near the heavily-trafficked Europe Square and in front of the main train station is a small park with a small, freestanding building. Its empty space once housed a refreshment stand or a waiting room. Today the basement is flooded and the backside of the building hides the city’s secret business transactions. Wafts of ammonia drift from the bushes of the small park. Despite efforts by the municipality to control these transactions, the site struggles to shed its image as a seedy place.
For two months, the 200 square meter surveillance apparatus made of wood, Plexiglass and analog optical-technology enables city residents to disappear underneath ceramic ‘viewing-supports’ and ‘peering-hoods,’ and while supposedly unobserved, indulge in the counter-image of the park as an arcadian utopia. The bright and cheerful colors, the playfully-sloped body of the building-hugging sculpture and the humorous application of glued-on eyes or nonfunctional lenses expose the ridiculousness of the trend towards the ubiquitous surveillance of urban space.
David Rauer was born in 1986 and lives in Osnabrück. The artist builds site specific installations and develops sculptures and objects. A course in ceramic crafts in 2009 followed two years at the AKI/ArtEZ art School, Enschede (NL) with a focus on three dimensional works and installations. He has been continuing his studies at the Art Academy Münster in Ayşe Erkmen’s class. His first large solo exhibition was made possible by the Young Positions Support Grant of the state of NRW from the art space Künstlerzeche Unser Fritz 2/3. The projects Archipel in√est and the theater festival Favoriten in Dortmund followed on the basis of this. Selected further exhibitions include Diamonds and Pearls, Galerie Evelyn Drewes, Hamburg (2014), Doppeltgemoppelt in the Art Association Gelsenkirchen (2014) – both with the Ayşe Erkmen class, 24/7 (24 hour installation with Joschua Sassmannshausen), Kunsthalle Osnabrück, Jong geweld uit Enschede Verbeke Foundation, Antwerpen/Belgien (2013), Unser Fritz 2/3 Förderpreis der Künstlerzeche, solo exhibition, Herne (2013), VOLLGUTEKUNSTAUSSTELLUNG, Galerie 21 and Galerie Hinterconti, Hamburg (2013), Just A Sucker, Solo, B93 Kunstenaarsinitiativ Enschede (2011), Station Petersburg (with Joschua Sassmannshausen), Alter Güterbahnhof Osnabrück (2011).