MONUMENTS ON THE MOVE :
opening: 18 IX, 18.00-21.00,
exhibition open until 8 X 2010
It is with great pleasure and satisfaction that we bring you two exceptional artworks which are an intriguing attempt at redefining the traditional form of monumental sculpture. Though in scale and character they seem to belong to the sphere of open public space, their presentation in the confines of a gallery interior has a particular tone, emphasizing that both pieces are examples of contemporary artworks, genuine contributions to reflection on memory, fate, history and their representation.
T 72 is a popular model of a Soviet tank, in mass production since 1970, which, regrettably, has been tested in the battlefield on numerous occasions, beginning with Soviet operations in Afghanistan. Sailstorfer's "T72" is an inflatable life size scale model of the tank made from tarpaulin. Four air pumps provide it with air supply just to suck it out completely after a while. The fierce and formidable war machine is tamed, like a giant mammal in a zoological garden. In an instant the tank - symbol of violence and aggression - is transformed into an effective show of impotence. The cycle is rhythmically repeated, the machine seems to breathe, rising fiercely and dropping ridiculously like a living organism, subject to the laws of biology rather than history.
"Cyparis" by Rafal Bujnowski is a seemingly classical monumental form. However, the massive bust of a black male was cast in an unusual material: volcanic sand collected on a beach in St. Pierre, Martinique. The work is devoted to Louis-Auguste Cyparis (or Ludger Sylbaris) known as Samson, one of the two survivors of the volcanic eruption of Mt. Pelée on 8th of May 1902 (three days prior to the local elections in the French colony), which ravaged the city of St. Pierre leaving over twenty thousand casualties. Cyparis became an accidental hero. He survived merely because he had been detained in a tiny cell of the local jail from few days before the disaster. Soon after he gained popularity as a member of the traveling troupe Barnum & Bailey Circus appearing as the "Lone Survivor of St. Pierre." During his residence in Martinique in 2009 Rafal Bujnowski decided to re-examine the figure of Cyparis. The project will culminate with the official unveiling of the sculpture (cast in cooperation with Julian Tomaszuk on the basis of existing photographs) in the city of St. Pierre.
In collaboration with Johann König Gallery, Berlin.
Michael Sailstorfer, T 72 (sand), 2008, inflatable tank dummy, 4 air conveyer, Siemens control system, 220 Volt or 110 Volt,
courtesy Johann König, Berlin, photos Alexis Zavialoff, CVG Bild-Kunst, Bonn