Believe me! Sculpture between Appearance and Reality, Truth and Lies

Believe me!, Raumansicht, Detail, © Ivo Faber, VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn

Certainties begin to totter when we look at artworks. The contrast between appearance and reality becomes blurred: doesn’t the liar need the appropriate terms and words in order to make an untruth sound real?
Is the artist, who realises his ideas out of stone, plaster, wood, glass and bronze with his hands and with machines, not a liar? Or does he create new, individual and universal truths with his work? The question regarding the value of the material is posed of sculpture more clearly than of any other form of art. All manner of materials are possible, the mixing with ready-mades since Marcel Duchamp.

Bronze casts convey the impression of valuableness and importance, whereas something carved from polystyrene is intent on subverting this impression; but what does the polystyrene figure painted gold say, what of the blackened bronze sculpture?
Seven young artists with differing approaches to sculpture ask themselves these questions. What they have in common is a precise way of looking at the everyday world, the recognition of concrete things in our consumer society, the viewing of history and the experience of their own corporeality. Sculpture as opposed to a two-dimensional work usually takes place in at least two types of spaces: on the one hand in an illusionistic space by unleashing an image in the mind of the viewer; on the other in real space where sculpture represents a new body as robust reality, which corresponds to one’s own body.

Janna Grak (b. 1971, Prof. Daniel Buren) makes the correspondence of bodies physically palpable: she alters the northern tip of the tunnel room with a »transformer« installation. Her mobile, four-part sculpture changes the space, confuses the viewers’ senses and challenges them at the same time to be inter-active. Way before you get to this during the descent, one’s view is opened up to a piece of writing that Michael Just (b. 1979, Prof. Hubert Kiecol) has cast in aluminium: AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGH! (a quotation from Stanley Kubrick’s war film »Full Metal Jacket«). Esther Kläs (b. 1981, Prof. Georg Herold) gently reveals the properties of the space with the aid of golden chains: she has sewn them on to a wall hanging inspired by KIT’s sloping floor and slanting walls.

Gesine Grundmann (b. 1974, Prof. Rosemarie Trockel) presents a genuine/false [?] »Rhineland Tiger« and a shimmering bronze figure on a suitcase pedestal. The artist from Cologne combines wit and fundamental questions about existence in her works. Tina Isabella Hild (b. 1977, Prof. Reiner Ruthenbeck and Prof. Katharina Fritsch) presents a series of finely worked objects, whose contrasting materiality and graphic quality dispatch the visitor’s imagination on a frivolous journey. Heiko Räpple (b. 1980, Prof. Didier Vermeiren) contrasts this with powerful but sensitive works in plaster that question the history of sculpture somewhere between abstract language of form and the ancient heroic figure. Markus Zimmermann (b. 1978, Prof. Bogomir Ecker) works with synthetic materials. He is building a branch of his Berlin studio shop within KIT and tempts the viewer inside into a world full of beautiful conceits.

The especially favourable working and production conditions for the seven artists participating in the exhibition were facilitated by the generous financial support of the Stiftung für Kunst, Kultur und Soziales der Sparda-Bank West.

Esther Kläs, Monsters, Mirror and Paradise, 2008, Zwei Skulpturen aus Styro, Epoxy, Gips und Ketten, je 175 x 100 cm, 30 Gips-Hüte, Gips, 40 cm hoch, Eine Skulptur aus Glas, Lack, Metall, 190 x 100 x 75 cm, © Yun Lee, VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn, 2008
Believe me!, Raumansicht, Detail, © Ivo Faber, VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn
Michael Just, AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGH! (war face), 2008, Aluminium eloxiert, MDF, Farbe, Gipskarton Leuchtstoffröhren, 1184 x 38 x 95 cm, © Ivo Faber, VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn, 2008