until 23.03. | #2361ARTatBerlin | Laura Mars Gallery shows from 16thFebruary 2019 the exhibition Can the Snail fly? by the artist Martin Städeli.
Even with the title of his exhibition Martin Städeli opens up a tension-filled semantic field. The answer seems clear at first: of course, earth-bound, arduously crawling creatures —
that moreover carry the burden of their dwelling along at all times — cannot fly. Nonetheless, or in spite of this, the absurd question is accompanied by a utopian shadow of sorts.
Well, why not, after all — one might think. What would happen, if? The negation opens up into a sphere of possibilities.
Just as obvious-cryptic as the title is the line drawing on the invitation: sticking on the clearly defined stereometry is the soft and curvaceous. The constructed conditions obviously surrounding us meet a curled-up, encapsulated interior world. Simultaneously, a critical point is being indicated: the jeopardization that may result from the confrontation with the vertices and terminal points of a constructed world. Or is it all merely about self-assurance, a curious measurement of the coordinates one inserts, and must insert, oneself into?
Martin Städeli, Schnecke1, 2019, Edding on paper, 10 x 15 cm
Ambiguity in the form of specific stress ratios fundamentally determines Martin Städeli’s artistic work. His characteristic formulations made from papier mâché the artist devised from 1994 on as deliberate opposites to abstract painting cultivated by him as well back then. The immaterial, two-dimensional form of existence was being contrasted by an
Thesis and antithesis likewise characterize the precarious, broken-down figurations themselves; they are shaped from the liquid, and solidified, yet seem feeble enough to make one fear for their continued existence. In this context, Städeli operates with the coinage “compostition.” As a design material, bronze would be entirely absurd, as would a painterly whitewashing, i.e., transformation of the sculptural material. Color sneaks into Städeli’s works in a cautious manner; thus, the support material remains tangible to such a degree that text passages taken from newspapers may be studied.
The material language’s ephemeral character is matched motif-wise by the airy creatures having “alighted” in the exhibition space only to seemingly fly away the next moment.
Yet things physical, organic, and anthropomorphic may as well stand on the floor, by themselves, or be inserted group-like into constructs and makeshift presentation contraptions.
Thus, the singular form as it moves between substrate and fragment, attains a degree of attachment and integration. What is moreover relevant: always the simplest and obvious serves Städeli just right to invoke the complexity and magic of the animate-inanimate world.
Text: Thomas Groetz
Translation: Johannes Sabinski
Vernissage: Friday, 15th February 2019, 7:00 p.m.
Exhibition period: Saturay, 16th February – Saturday, 23rd March 2019Zur Laura Mars Gallery
Exhibition Martin Städeli – Laura Mars Gallery | Zeitgenössische Kunst in Berlin | Contemporary Art | Exhibitions Berlin Galleries | ART at Berlin