Gregor's Room I, Hubbard / Birchler (Teresa Hubbard / Alexander Birchler)
Hubbard / Birchler (Teresa Hubbard / Alexander Birchler)
Gregor's Room I
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This work consists of multiple parts

145 x 180 cm
Physical Description
Inventory Number
DZF 189
Collection DZ BANK at the Städel Museum
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About the Work

This man is not about to metamorphose into a monstrous beetle just because his name is Gregor. Unlike Franz Kafka's Gregor Samsa with his nightmarish carapace of guilt, referenced here by the film and photo novelists Hubbard / Birchler, the protagonist on the four double, large-format pictures seems to be the victim of a bugging operation. Instead of seeing himself as vermin, he seeks the bug outside of his own body. Presented by the artist duo as an isolated character based freely on Edward Hopper's paintings of big-city melancholiacs, the man resembles Harry Caul - the wire-tapping specialist in Francis Ford Coppola's film 'The Conversation' - who believes he is himself under surveillance. While 'Gregor's Room I' is indeed the setting for a Kafka-inspired story about a threat, the menace is a very contemporary one. Perplexed, Gregor, alias Harry, searches the walls and ceilings for traces of an intervention before he dismantles the room-cum-cell into its individual components. Hubbard / Birchler tell obsessive everyday stories against a backdrop of life-size stills and endless film loops. The eye-witness is free to interpret the stories as he chooses in dialogue with the actors on equal terms.

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