until 12.01. | #2266ARTatBerlin | Daniel Marzona currently presents the solo exhibition lasting embers by the artist Jörg Gelbke.
Against the background of an ever-faster rotating art world, which propagates the latest trends almost weekly to praise the grandeur of something even more new tomorrow, the slowness and perseverance inherent in the work of Jörg Gelbke seems strangely anachronistic. On the one hand, this may be because the artist was already interested in traditional casting techniques during his studies, which still characterize the processes involved in the production of his work. On the other hand, the temporality of the processes that lead to the sculptural results plays a decisive role in constituting their meaning.
As George Didi-Hubermann points out in his book “Similarity and Touch”, the casting process in modern art history has long been associated with two supposed flaws. On the one hand, the casting technique does not produce anything original, since it is essentially based on the blind imprint of already existing ones, and secondly, the casting-based forms can also be repeated in identical form in order to undermine the ideal of the original even further. In his work, Jörg Gelbke makes both alleged defects of tradition surprisingly productive. For the work Untitled (2014), for example, he took three different impressions of a trivial object – a found iron rod cut to the size of 187 cm. The clay impression is air dried and cracked, the gelatin impression is buried in the soil for a prolonged period of time and subjected to its partial decomposition, while a bronze cast of the iron rod is subjected to excessive heat after production, which deforms it uncontrollably. As a result of these processes – both the clay impression and the gelatine impression were also cast in bronze – we see three bronze rods based on the same object, but strongly differing in their characteristics, which are lapidary on the walls of the exhibition space.
A similar process gives rise to three bronze casts of a found tree root (“Uprooted Object”, 2015) welded together into an object of strange-looking monumentality, for which three PU foam impressions were buried underground and finally poured into iron. By enabling his sculptures to inscribe a temporality – here perhaps better duration – and to focus on the processes of their becoming, Gelbke formulates, as it were, an irresolvable contradiction within the medium itself, which is actually based on immediacy and touch.
The fact that Jörg Gelbke’s artistic project, with all its conceptual precision, can also be appreciated in its poetic-romantic dimension, is clearly shown in the work Untitled (2012). Here, the interior of a self-made furnace was poured out after the smelting of 15 kg of copper with wax, creating a material monument for a process. Again and again, Gelbke seeks in his art that which is not actually to be had, namely to give the unfinished and the becoming a lasting form. The ability to touch the results of this necessary failure both intellectually and emotionally testifies to their sculptural quality.
Opening: Friday, 26th October 2018, 6:00 – 9:00 pm
Exhibition period: Friday, 26th October 2018 – Saturday, 12th January 2019Zu Daniel Marzona
Image caption: © Jörg Gelbke, Sehnsucht ohne Gegenstand, 2011 / Courtesy the artist and Daniel Marzona, Berlin / VG Bildkunst, Bonn 2018.
Exhibition Jörg Gelbke – Daniel Marzona | Zeitgenössische Kunst in Berlin | Contemporary Art | Exhibitions Berlin Galleries | ART at Berlin