Surrogate, Vehement, Villa Merkel, Esslingen, Germany, 2018

Surrogate (as performed in Stuttgart and Esslingen)
Collaboration with Fiona Könz

In November 2018 Gregor Vogel and Fiona Könz were invited to participate in the group exhibition VEHEMENT at Villa Merkel in Esslingen, Germany. As a part of the work Open Call by the exhibiting artist Jan-Hendrik Pelz which featured artists being invited to show their work in the gallery space, they developed a concept for a reprise of Surrogate.
Arriving in Stuttgart they switched roles (exchanged personal belongings, adapted individual characteristics, adjusted their use of language, etc) and proceeded to perform in the role of their counterpart for the following three days.
During their stay at Villa Merkel, they worked across from each other at two desks in the entrance hall of the museum. During the three days of their stay, they both produced new works that were intended to be integrated into the artistic practice of the other.

Surrogate, Video still, 2018

Surrogate, Video still, 2018

Surrogate, Video still, 2018

Esslinger Wolle
Installation/HD Video

Gregor Vogel (performed by Fiona Könz) produced the work Esslinger Wolle which concerned the wool whose production led to the accumulation of the fortune, which lead to the Villa Merkel being built by Oskar Merkel in the 19th century. Aiming to bring the wool back to its original home, he bought sock wool – the only kind of wool still available – and proceeded to learn how to knit a sock. When confronted with his inability to finish the sock he sought the help of citizens of Esslingen he met on the streets, documenting his endeavors in a video.

Esslinger Wolle, Vehement, Villa Merkel, Esslingen, Germany, Installation view, 2018

Esslinger Wolle, Video still, 2018


For her untitled work, Fiona Könz (performed by Gregor Vogel) used the floor of the entrance hall to display a visual representation of a situation in which two positions try to adapt their counterpart‘s coordinates, affecting each other in the process. Adding excerpts from their personal diaries to the masking tape she used to mark the paths, drew a comparison to the performance which formed the context for this particular work.
Each position‘s coordinates are the average value of its own last coordinates, the other party‘s last coordinates as well as the other party‘s coordinates during the start of the experiment:

​An = (An-1+ Bn-1+ B0) / 3 Bn = (Bn-1+ An-1+ A0) / 3

Untitled, Vehement, Villa Merkel, Esslingen, Germany, Installation view, 2018

Untitled, Vehement, Villa Merkel, Esslingen, Germany, Detail, 2018