© Images Damian Griffiths
5 OCTOBER – 10 NOVEMBER 2018
Michael Sailstorfer is one of the most prolific members of Germany’s new generation of conceptual and installation artists. His playful manipulation of form and constant reinvigoration of the sculptural medium through the use of sound and temporality has consistently designated him as an exciting artist to watch.
Incorporating video, sculpture, sound, and interventions, a repeated motif of the teardrop manifested in newer as well as never before seen works impress upon the viewer, with questions about fluidity and mass. The teardrop rendered as solid reconfigures the viewer’s own relationship with the archetypal symbol.
Starting from the entrance, the sign above the door greets viewers with a clue of what to expect within. The umlauts over the “O” in “KÖNIG” are turned into red teardrops, mimicking sinister yet playful devil’s horns, hinting not only at the visual motif but also the disregard for natural order, a semblance of physical nature being turned on its head.
Sailstorfer’s 2010 installation Wolken (clouds) saw the use of twisted and crushed black tyre tubes hanging above the gallery space. What could be considered the antithesis to the namesake suddenly becomes ether, weightless, and simultaneously heavy, dark like storm clouds. A work that mirrors this play with material and gravity is the video work Tränen (Tears). In it, the humble teardrop, insignificant and ineffectual in its scale and malleable liquidity, morphs into a substantiation of mass and destruction. Tränen, which is projected in the elevator, features tears raining down in single boulderesque formations, slowly as if a descending helium balloon, eventually tearing through the roof of a quaint countryside house. One by one, they see to the destruction of the building in a sequence that suggests fantastical motion and weight that defies the physics of this world, emphasised further by the projected act of falling against the real motion of the changing of floor levels and height.
The main exhibition room will feature around 30 tear paintings, a flattening of the dimensions to pure symbolic shape. The paintings are made with lipstick on silicone, an ode to the artist’s playful approach to materiality.
Alongside these will be D.A.V.E.L.O.M.B.A.R.D.O., a sound piece named after the drummer of American metal band Slayer, spread out throughout the space with seemingly self-directed drum sets scattered throughout the exhibition, creating a cacophony of rhythm. Paralleling the spread of sound will be over 200 glass tear bottles dispersed on the floor across the exhibition space.
The exhibition continues the artist’s exploration of objective durationality, rhythm, and a play on physical attributes of reality that are taken for granted, marking another cohesive chapter in the artist’s work.