Counting Bodies Like Sheep to the Rhythm of the War Drums
Saturday, November 14, 2015, 6 pm
November 14 to December 11, 2015
1335MABINI proudly presents Clemens Hollerer in a solo exhibition titled "Counting bodies like sheep to the rhythm of the war drums" from November 14 to December 11, 2015.
Clemens Hollerer’s artistic practice revolves around creating site-specific monuments of form: imposing installations that derive from an acute examination of material and space. In this exhibition, the artist re-organizes visions of destruction from images of the remains of a calamity that struck the Visayas region of the Philippines two years ago.
The artist’s training stems from a confluence of various media: photography, painting, and sculpture. Initially interested in the visual complexity of construction sites, Hollerer comes up with calculated spatial formations that incite ambiguity of access. This point of departure is what instigates the viewer to step back, to ask, simultaneously suspending judgment in a situation that necessitates a layered response: first, the prehensive reaction, and second, inquiry.
Hollerer’s work allows one to enter unfamiliar territory, a place evidenced by force and exertion, so that one sees and feels without at first attempting to articulate. Influenced by the work of Gordon Matta-Clark, the artist’s attitude towards site-specific construction encourages a conversation with the viewer by leaving him to participate. Massive, elemental, and abstract, the work arrests and challenges, with its bold exposition of the structure-cum-negative space intimating new ways of seeing. Combining subtlety of expression and power of form, the presentation of the works, in its radically-altered geometry, suggests a vibration that is, like music, direct and immediate. It is a metaphor to a sensation that entertains the idea of transgression, displayed by the interspersed fragments, layered, overlapped, ruptured and holed into, enabling the viewer to immerse one’s self in rhythms of violation and concordance. It resonates on a subliminal level and therefore does not provoke, and as one is subjected to an experience that does not immediately call for an explanation, one responds without delay. This intuitive manner of experiencing mirrors the artist’s half-spontaneous and half-calculated manner of thought and execution that is akin to play. Hollerer’s process includes observing at length before stepping into a pulse of action and progression, composing and sidestepping, working towards a level of exhilaration until the sculpture has satisfied him, not dissimilar to a song’s climax; music coincidentally posing as a great factor in the artist’s life.
Indeed when confronted with the work, one is relieved of a burden to justify, as movement within the space constitutes one’s proof of awareness of his body and his proximity to the structure through sensing. Impression is raised to a level of intelligence that is humble and sincere, as one negotiates with a tendency that leans towards a mode of perceiving that involves imagination and recognition.
“Counting bodies like sheep to the rhythm of the war drums” is the artist’s ephemeral monument to commemorate a tragedy that, until now, draws humanistic efforts of participation. Echoing the immense effect of a calamity that claimed thousands of lives, it addresses the importance of transition after destruction and how man’s biological impulse to react to stimuli influences his manner of inspecting and situating himself in his environment.
Clemens Hollerer was born in Austria in 1975. He graduated from the Euregio College for Fine Art Photography (Austria) in 2005 and studied at the Higher Institute for Fine Arts Antwerp/Ghent (Belgium). The artist has been nominated and awarded nationally and internationally for his work (i.e. Future Generation Art Prize/Pinchuk Art Centre, Austrian State Scholarship for Fine Arts, Zurich Art Prize) and is member of the Secession Vienna. Since 2006, he has participated in several exhibitions worldwide and has held solo exhibitions in Austria, France, Germany, Belgium, and the Netherlands. Hollerer currently lives and works in Austria.