I’ve recently gotten into a spatial sculpting class with Kunsthochschule Berlin Weißensee, an art university that was founded in former East Berlin (up in Pankow, for those of you who are familiar with the city). The studio itself deals with works which explore ideas and notions of movement, time, and the process of creation. The most important, or perhaps the most integral, part of the class is to interact and be cognizant of the processes of creation- which decisions are being made, why, and to achieve what end result, if any. We may build and create wherever in Berlin or in the school itself, and because of this as well as the nature of the class, we have a lot of variety in the class regarding what is being created, and what is being explored. Since I’m a painter and not much of a sculptor, I immediately turned towards what themes I enjoy exploring and which are translatable across mediums, z.B. Durchlässigkeit, Bedeutungen von Zerstörung und Erzeugung, Feuchtigkeit, und so weiter. I first wanted to explore the destruction of the body, chemicals, and a larger contrast between the natural and the artificial. I was intending on creating a window installation with materials that were destroyed as they were created or marked, such as newsprint or volatile materials which reacted to the sun. That then morphed into creating a transparent sculpture using materials that questioned the definitions of destruction and creation, such as decaying or mouldering fruit, which are destroyed as they are also a source of creation. Now, naturally, two weeks in and I am once again between possibilities, in exploring the natural and cultural, and the methods and ways that exist therein for creation and so on.
Right now, I’m planning on creating a sort of landscape, with transparent paper, steam (of water or tea or something similar) underneath it to create some sort of reaction and warping, and perhaps returning to decaying fruit (in this case, kiwi skins as they look similar to human skin, have an interesting concave as well as convex geometric form, and also provide a lovely substance with which to grow mold). Within this landscape, my professor suggests I explore the notions of islands, of biological time, of change; he suggests that in this way I can use the kiwis well. I am hoping to create a contrast between the cultural and the natural, but once again this is an incredibly daunting task. I had forgotten why I generally don’t work in 3D- because it provides far too many possibilities and solutions, and it feels generally impossible to create something which adequately answers the questions that you began to ask. It’s frustrating and difficult, but it feels amazing to be back in a studio and making something. And if this is the most problematic aspect of my life, I’d consider myself pretty darn lucky. I hope to explore the different methods with which we hope to create or put things back together, and somehow tie that once more back into themes of Feuchtigkeit/dampness/humidity. But I am not sure how reasonable of a pursuit that is for me to have. I have to once again ask what role I am hoping to play, one of the Spieler and creator, for whom the end result is the purpose of creation, or am I merely the one who sets the stage, who involves oneself in the process, but allows the end result to become whatever it so chooses.
For now, I have kiwis in various states of decay on a windowsill, placed in plexiglass boxes with transparent paper behind them, diffusing the light. We’ll see.