Exhibition by artists Vera Kox, Daniel Hundsdörfer, Amir Chasson.
Why is it that Sculpture is so much more important than Poetry, Painting, Performance and Printmaking combined?
As is true of any other convention, sculpture has its own internal logic, its own set of rules, which, though they can be applied to a variety of situations, are not themselves open to very much change. The logic of sculpture, it would seem, is inseparable from the logic of all other art forms.
While all other art forms tell tales of exciting admiration, full of action and passion— while they paint, decorate, stage, narrate and enact personal experiences, voyages, battles, triumphs and continual changes of fortune— sculpture is nothingness manifested. No, it does not vibrate with sounds when you connect it to a turntable and it does not try to ingratiate itself with you. It is a void, around which you can live your life in peace and go on about your business. By virtue of this logic, a sculpture is a commemorative representation. It sits in a particular place and speaks in a symbolical tongue about the meaning or use of that place.1
Sculpture traditionally differed from all other art forms through its seemingly unquestionable three-dimensionality, its physical and physiological corporeality, defined as a literal “embodiment” of subjective plastic concerns.2 Yes, it is true that Poetry and Printmaking still have some meaning left in them, but not much. Painting and Performance, on the other hand, have no redeeming features; they should be left for children. Therefore, it seems appropriate to consider our works—while perhaps not immediately recognizable as sculpture—on their own terms, as they do in fact ‘sits in a particular place and speaks in a symbolical tongue about the meaning or use of that place.’
Sculpture, therefore, because of its more concrete “nature” than that of any other art practice, seems to lend itself to a particularly obdurate aesthetic: how can one—under the conditions of a highly industrialized society—continue atavistic modes of production (modelling, carving, casting, cutting, welding) and apply them convincingly to semi-precious or so-called “natural” materials?3
This sounds familiar, but was in fact already established in the 1830s: The characters in the tragedies of Sophocles, in their plastic self-sufficiency, were compared to the figures of sculpture. After all, in spite of its determinateness, sculpture may express a many-sidedness of character. In contrast to the tempestuous passion which concentrates with all its force on one point alone, sculpture presents in its stillness and speechlessness the forceful neutrality which quietly locks up all powers within itself; We see in sculpture a peaceful depth which has in itself the ability to actualize all powers out of itself. 4
1. Krauss, R., 1979: Sculpture in the Expanded Field. Taken from: October Magazine, Issue No. 8, Spring 1979. Massachusetts: MIT Press, p. 33
2. Buchloh, B. H. D., 2000: Neo-Avantgarde And Culture Industry – Essays on European And American Art From 1955 to 1975. London and
Massachusetts: MIT Press, p. 2
3. Buchloh, p. 3
4. Hegel, G. W. F., 1823: The Beauty Of Art Or The Ideal. Taken from: Aesthetics - Lectures On Fine Art, Volume I. Trans. By Knox, T. M., Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1975, p. 239.