07. 03. – 30. 03. 2019
Operating Track (2019)


Thomas Taube

PYLON-Lab is excited to present the exhibition „Operating Track“ by artist and filmmaker Thomas Taube. The exhibition presents his latest work as an installation, including videos of his previous work complex “The Galloping Horse”.

As a video artist, Taube’s works detach the medium of film from its linear and stringent narrative structure. With multi-channel installations, associative, reflective and surreal sequences, Taube works against conventional cinematographic codes. By abolishing the immediacy of the medium through epic elements and discontinuous montage, his works aim to distinguish between seeing, observing, experiencing and reflecting.

Thomas Taube studied at the Hochschule für Grafik und Buchkunst in Leipzig and at the Hochschule für Bildende Künste in Braunschweig and has been a master student of Clemens von Wedemeyer since 2014.  Taube currently lives and works in Leipzig and is represented by Galerie Reiter.

The exhibition will be on view until March 30th at PYLON-Lab.

Operating Track (2019)

Operating Track examines the origins of the medium of film: from various perspectives, Taube’s work questions the genesis of the first film ever, which chronologically coincided with the beginning of the industrial use of asbestos.

The term “Operating Track” derives from the test conducted by photographer Eadweard Muybridge in Palo Alto near San Francisco in 1878, from which the first film was made. In the same year, the second asbestos processing plant in Germany was founded in Radebeul near Dresden. The two materials – film and asbestos -, which at first appear completely different, form the basis for Taube’s cinematic work and his examination of material movements and shifts in relevance. Society uses both elements in a present absence. In the case of film as material, the focus is on the content of the images; in the case of asbestos, it is now on deconstructing the material as cleanly and imperceptibly as possible.

With Eadweard Muybridge and the first film it was initially a matter of using the material to test whether all four hooves of a galloping horse can be in the air at the same time. Art history developed its own narration from this, which was less about the content of the test than about the interpretation of the material with which it was carried out.

Asbestos as a material has an eventful, almost 160-year history in which the material has repeatedly experienced paradigm shifts in its social perception and use. After a rapid ascent, it was commonly used in various ways, then gradually banned and now, it is isolated behind airlocks, deconstructed.  In the films of his work complex “The Galloping Horse”, Taube brings together the perspective of a Gabonese asbestos worker, an actor and the film itself in a confrontation of content. The video works illustrate a present absence of material hidden behind protective suits and facades, or encoded in images and having an obscure relationship to us as a society. As an installation, “Operating Track” represents Taube’s interest in elements of the environment that define society, or which represent “material” in a broader sense. Due to a present absence of these things and their content analogy with separate systematics to each other, Taube questions our social handling of things that we do not see, but that are part of our reality of life, in his new work.