“Camouflage”

Michael Sailstorfer

June 20 – August 10

Avlskarl Gallery er stolte af at præsentere Camouflage, den tyske koncept- og installationskunstner Michael Sailstorfers tredje soloudstilling i galleriet.

I Camouflage er Sailstorfer optaget af det, der ikke umiddelbart giver sig til kende, det, der ikke ved første øjekast lader sig aflæse og det, der måske gemmer sig bag værkets materielle overflade. Sailstorfer diskuterer formalistiske spørgsmål gennem værker, der trækker visuelle referencer til såvel den menneskelige krop, som til industrielle elementer og kunsthistoriske artefakter.

En serie minimalistiske bronzemasker sender således tankerne i retningen af maskinelle komponenter og arkitektoniske modeller, men også oceanisk og afrikansk kunst. Maskerne er først formgivet i pap for derefter at blive støbt i bronze, og trækker en del af papmodellens masseproducerede, industrielle udtryk med over i det eksklusive metal. Efterfølgende er maskerne individualiseret gennem påføring af forskellige nuancer af pudderfoundation fra makeupmærker som Chanel og Dior – eller er de? Måske er makeup’en blot endnu et lag, der føjer sig til det maskespil, værkerne udgør.

Sailstorfers skulpturelle objekter er sjældent helt det, de giver sig ud for at være. En skulptur, der umiddelbart foregiver at være skabt af pap og tape viser sig at være en aluminiumsafstøbning, der nøje er kamoufleret som papkasse. Et par solbriller, der ligger henslængt i galleriet, som var de glemt af en besøgende, viser sig at være umulige at se igennem. Måske er de også en slags maskering; som i den slags detektivfilm, hvor hovedpersonen skjuler sin identitet bag skæg og blå briller.

I Sailstorfers værker viser ydmyge materialer sig at være eksklusive. Bløde og hule materialer afslører sig selv som massive, mens det masseproducerede hverdagsobjekt springer ud som unikt kunstværk. Hans objekter placerer sig mellem komplekse dikotomier, der lader menneske og maskine smelte sammen, som når en benzintank fra en Ferrari trækker vejret tungt, eller når en vi pludselig ser en antropomorf skikkelse i et stykke indpakningsmateriale. Gennem en udpræget poetisk tilgang til materialer tranformerer Sailstorfer sine objekter fra en virkelighedssfære til den næste, udfordrer deres fysiske grænser og udvider skulpturens mulighedsrum.

Michael Sailstofer (f. 1979, D) er uddannet MA in Fine Arts fra Goldsmiths, University of London, i 2003-2004. Hans værker har været udstillet på solo- og gruppeudstillinger over hele verden, herunder på Pejman Foundation, Tehran, Iran (2023); Kurhaus Museum Kleve, Germany (2022); Bundeskunsthalle, Bonn, Germany (2022); Kunstmuseum Stuttgart, Stuttgart, Germany (2021); Koenigmuseum, Landshut, Germany (2021); BNKR, Munich, Germany (2019); Riga Biennale, Riga, Latvia (2018) mm. Michael Sailstorfer bor og arbejder i Berlin.

 

Avlskarl Gallery is proud to present Camouflage, German conceptual and installation artist Michael Sailstorfer’s third solo exhibition with the gallery.

In Camouflage, Sailstorfer is concerned with matters, which is not immediately apparent, which cannot be read at first glance and which may be hiding behind the material surface of the work. Sailstorfer discusses formalist questions through works that draw visual references to the human body as well as to industrial elements and art historical artefacts.

A series of minimalist bronze masks thus sends thoughts in the direction of mechanical components and architectural models, but also Oceanic and African art. The masks are originally shaped in cardboard and later cast in bronze, and transfer part of the cardboard model’s mass-produced, industrial expression to the exclusive metal. Subsequently, the masks are individualized through the application of different shades of powder foundation from makeup brands such as Chanel and Dior – or are they? Perhaps the makeup is just another layer added to the complicated play of masks that the works constitute.

Sailstorfer’s sculptural objects are rarely quite what they pretend to be. A sculpture that at first pretends to be made of cardboard and tape turns out to be an aluminum casting carefully camouflaged as a cardboard box. A pair of sunglasses lying strewn in the gallery, as if they had been forgotten by a visitor, turns out to be impossible to see through. Perhaps they are also a kind of masking; as in the kind of detective film where the main character hides his identity behind a beard and blue glasses.

In Sailstorfer’s works, humble materials prove to be exclusive. Soft and hollow materials reveal themselves as massive, while the mass-produced everyday object stands out as a unique work of art. His objects place themselves between complex dichotomies that allow man and machine to merge, like when a petrol tank from a Ferrari breathes heavily, or when we suddenly see an anthropomorphic figure in a piece of wrapping material. Through a distinctly poetic approach to materials, Sailstorfer transforms his objects from one realm of reality to the next, challenging their physical limits and expanding the possibilities of sculpture.

Michael Sailstorfer (b. 1979, D) lives and works in Berlin, Germany. He holds an MA in Fine Arts from Goldsmiths, University of London, UK (2003-2004). His work has been displayed in numerous solo and group exhibitions throughout the world, including at Pejman Foundation, Tehran, Iran (2023); Kurhaus Museum Kleve, Germany (2022); Bundeskunsthalle, Bonn, Germany (2022); Kunstmuseum Stuttgart, Stuttgart, Germany (2021); Koenigmuseum, Landshut, Germany (2021); BNKR, Munich, Germany (2019); Riga Biennale, Riga, Latvia (2018) a.o.