February 8, 2017 Michael Sailstorfer – “Silver Cloud”
9 – 28 February, 2017
Carbon 12 is proud to present the work of German artist Michael Sailstorfer Silver Cloud on the occasion of GPP Photo Week 2017 from the 9th to 28th of February.
The project Silver Cloud, encompasses both a public performance and a video documentation and will be exhibited at Carbon 12’s Viewing Room.
On the asphalt outdoor lot in front of the artist’s studio in Berlin Weißensee, a steel casted cloud sculpture is suspended at a height of over 15 meters from a crane boom, and then released to free-fall onto the ground like a demolition ball. The process is repeated several times, until open cracks and wavy folds appear in the asphalt pavement. Casted from the minimal shapes of the artist’s Clouds pieces, originally made of inflated truck inner tube tires, these silver iron cloud sculpture combine formal lightness with material weight.
Through its sculptural trace, the performance inscribes itself into the Berlin site generating an area that is sunk below its surroundings: a depression in the geological sense of the term. Moreover, traces of the repeated impact affect the sculptural surfaces, witnessing – in the long run – their involvement in collision processes. A video of the performance is to be shown at the Carbon 12’s Viewing Room.
Like much of the artist’s previous work, Silver Cloud engages both with the joyful irony of Pop Art and the experimental aesthetics of minimalist pieces, this particular work referencing – and subverting – Andy Warhol’s idea of floating cloud sculptures, exhibited in 1966 at the Leo Castelli Gallery. Silver Cloud further recalls Michael Heizer’s Bern Depression of 1969, when the pavement in front of the Kunsthalle Bern was destroyed with an artist-led demolition ball during Harald Szeemann’s legendary show When Attitudes Become Form.
More broadly, the work draws upon ideas of movement and velocity, which are central to Sailstorfer’s practice. At the same time, both the realist means of the public performance and the rough physicality of the cloud sculpture contrast with the visionary image of a rain of clouds. This tension recalls the unpredictability of non-human (and human?) natural forces and the way we viscerally perceive them through form and physical space.
In the video documentation, the image of the silver rainfall prevails over the technical and sensorial experience of the event, engendering an oneiric sense of absurdity and visual wit.