an e-mail project by Karin Sander
This art work negotiates alternate forms and practices of devotion, possession and politicised demonology. It is permeated with the contemplation of such themes as time, identity, memory, music and language and thus it excels at expressing synesthetic connections and transformations between different realms – for example, between sounds and images, nature and culture, or spiritual spaces and perceptual experiences. This allows the viewer to sense their own presence in the works and to “nest” within the moment.
It represents the delicate balance between holding and being held, and also suggesting associations with the kind of marbles that children play with, or planets orbiting in the cosmos. The work is a visual translation of the sound that arises just before music begins, as if “giving volume to silence,” allowing the viewer a moment to pause. Thus it radiates a multiplicity of meanings that can be read at different levels. Through the visual expression of images, impressions, moods or memories, it often turns powerful yet ephemeral experiences into vividly concrete form. The work wanders through thoughts, ruminations, references and intuition but ultimately returns to beauty and tranquility.
On the other hand it also frames a conversation around the relationship between the past and an unsettling future, the shelf life of technology and assumed stability of the archive, and how memory functions within and beyond institutional systems. These are complex contemporary narratives that connect intimate personal spheres of existence to larger social political processes . Thus it follows the map of the ancient world, from Persia to Rome, to trace a journey of heartbreak. In recent and current times it contributes, over this extended area, notable cultural and political trauma—through the loss of countries and the loss of lives in war—to the loss of the past and a loss of hope.
Its particular character, however, derives from its various perspectives: hesitant, confused, dissociative, schizophrenic, thoughtful, negative, trapped, disoriented, self-denying, clashing, or full of fantasy. It is not directly related to social issues, and neither are there any confrontational figures. Instead it refers to a variety of situations, encounters, positions, demands, spirits and inner experiences, as they strive to portray multifaceted realities and moods that are complex, profound and indescribable
Physically and visually unruly, this large-scale work pushes the boundaries of the medium and embraces the complexities of the visible world. It has the form of an excavation that takes place in the sedimentary layers of time in the attic and gaps between the floors of the building. Due to the lack of contact with the ground and dampness, this ‘archaeology of the housed’ reveals a wealth of objects much like a chamber of curiosities, an amazing universe of peasant life that enables a more profound take on everyday life.
It is imbued with the richness of warm lands, the burning sun and rugged mountains and is adorned with a literary aspect re-transcribed in paint, thus bridging together poetics, politics and social reality since the painter is also a writer and has also worked with directors for the theatre.
Its scope is local but also ecumenical, analysing as it does the changes engendered by globalisation, privatisation and the consolidation of neo-liberalism. Finally, it highlights the new situations that are coming to replace the old, while subtly inviting us to think about future ways of imagining—and inhabiting—our world.
Sampling e-flux by Matthias Sauerbruch
The authors Kathrin Messner und Josef Ortner call it a “social sculpture”. Their artwork is a small ayurvedic guesthouse set in a tropical garden in southern Sri Lanka that is synergetically connected to a school for over 1000 pupils: the income generated by the hospitality business pays for all of the staff both at the resort and at the “Free Education Unit” - as well as the upkeep of all properties. All buildings were rebuilt after the Tsunami of 2004 with money largely generated by donations.
This sculpture is a construction of encounters between participants from very different worlds. Their combination is almost random but their interaction is very specific: it is characterized by curiosity, respect, learning, surprise and wonder. Experiencing the sculpture reverberates with a deep instinct of what it means to be human. The communication is not mono-directional, each party engages, each party gives and contributes and each party takes away: horizons are being opened.
This work needs an artist to makes sure that it stays alive. However, it needs neither a gallery nor a museum as it creates its own spaces of encounter, both literally and metaphorically. While this artwork uses architecture and landscape as its physical medium it also engages quasi-theatrical situations as well as literary narrative. It leaves a deep impression on everybody who has experienced it; and finally - this sculpture is openly about money but it is not commercial.
Matthias Sauerbruch on “The One World Foundation” in Ahungalla