Ausfegen (Sweeping) 2003-2005
A series of installations using leftovers from large public demonstrations.
My environment, people, situations and circumstances beyond myself, drive my work. Although I am constantly exploring the possibilities of artistic interventions in the public sphere this space is not only the location for my visual work, above all it provides inspiration; a historic event, the nature of the city, its quotidian noise or current political issues. The choice for the artistic media depends upon concrete observations, but to an increasing degree, I make installations in which all of the senses are visually represented.
I often use extant or found materials, setting a process in motion which is not completely within my control- other artists contribute something, or nature does her own thing, my children complete part of the staging of the installation or I integrate the leftovers of a public demonstration that were constructed by anonymous makers. Consequently, the romantic illusion of style, which cannot be imitated, drops out of sight and my own position as artist is inevitably tested once more.
In 1995, I made a work with a programmatic/ idealistic title: ‘The hope of saving the world with a right angle’. In formal terms my artistic strategies today have very little to do with the fascinations of yesterday’s minimalism. However, its utopian drive is still the primary incentive of my artistic practice; while I keep trying to remain independent of a static visual language, I bring the complexity of reality back to the essential. As Frank Stella said in the interview that I used for my installation in Sant Angelo, ‘you see what you see’.
In his novel, ‘The man without qualities’, Robert Musil differentiated between two types of people: those with a sense of reality, and those with a sense of possibility. The former is someone who focuses on what exists, while the latter sees the basis for that which could be or still might happen. I hope that my work does not avoid but rather embraces this paradox productively, desiring an understanding of confusion in present time.
The work is an homage to Joseph Beuys, refering to his similar ’’action“ on May 1, 1972 in Berlin. After a number of significant public demonstrations, I swept up and collected the remnants of banners, signs, flyers and pamphlets and stowed them in specially-made wooden suitcases. Subsequently this material was presented as objects on the wall and in the closed suitcases.