Projects | Marc Berghaus

exterior view, Foothills Art Center, Golden, CO

Marc Berghaus is an artist and photographer based in Kansas. His work, Ceci n’est pas une eglise, was exhibited at the Foothills Art Center in Golden, Colorado as well as the Strecker-Nelson Gallery in Manhattan, Kansas. Ceci n’est pas une eglise, is a site specific work that is a replica of the Foothills Art Center. Marc had photographed the exterior and interior of the gallery, which had been converted from an old church, on medium format film, which Marc scanned to get the digital files. Infinite Editions printed each image on polycarbonate backprint film.  These prints were mounted to custom fabricated frosted acrylic using an optically clear adhesive. The space between the exterior and interior panels was illuminated with banks of fluorescent lamps. The panels were assembled to create the scaled-down version of the gallery.  The overall structure measured 94" tall by 120" wide by 158" deep. Marc had also modeled his exhibition cards after his photographs, thus creating another representation to the actual artwork object itself.

interior view, Foothills Art Center, Golden, CO




 Marc describes his work as,

"The goal of Ceci n’est pas une eglise- “This is not a church”- is simply to present you with no new information whatsoever.  Here it is;  you are already here.  It is an exercise in ridiculous site-specificity, as it would be completely pointless if shown anywhere else.  If you go inside, you see the exact same view you would see if the room were empty.

But there are two problems with this ideal approach, besides the slight flaws in its execution.  The first is, of course, that the experience of viewing the original building and the artwork are different.  You have walked around the outside of the building and into it, and although there is absolutely nothing new here, you know they are not the same thing.  It therefore becomes an exercise in perception, on the role of the body in how we perceive spaces and objects.  Your awareness of both the Art Center and the artwork are likely somewhat different.

The title refers to Rene Magritte’s painting of a (tobacco) pipe, with the words denying that it is a pipe painted onto the canvas.  He was simply reminding the viewer that you are looking a representation of a pipe, not the real thing.  That certainly applies to this piece, as well, with the additional insistence that the structure is not what it clearly appears to be."

exhibition card design