29 July - 22 October 2017
‘Orangery’ Gallery, Sculpture Park
curator: Eulalia Domanowska
Rolf Nikel, Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to Polan
The new exhibition of Thorsten Goldberg, German artist who specializes in the projects of art in the public space, is an attempt to capture the elusive natural phenomena. The artist creates objects, sculptures, projections, artistic installations, as well as drawings. They forge various relations with the surroundings, geography, history of the site and the social group for which they are destined. Events, politics, formal language, surroundings – all of it may affect a work of art situated in the public space.
In the Centre of Polish Sculpture in Orońsko, at the “Orangery” Gallery the artist presents a set of three main works: Neon Cumulus – a light object built of neon contours and a mirror, the video-projection 25 Min. of Rain + Beech Tree – a mirror reflection of a huge beech tree in a wet pavement, poured over with rain and Terrain.(Rolina Pond) – a topographic glass model of the bed of the Rolina pond, complemented with smaller objects, models and drawings. All the works – the amorphous clouds, invisible bottom of the pond, pouring rain – attempt to present the intangible phenomena of nature.
Clouds, as a theme of an artwork, have interested the artist for at least 10 years. The first work – neon one, situated on the river in Lippstadt – was made in 2009. The next ones, made of white, shining plastic, were placed in the yard of the Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection in Berlin and in the Sculpture Park of the Gerisch Foundation in Neumünster. One more neon cloud shines quite close to Orońsko – over the Mazovian Centre of Contemporary Art ‘Elektrownia’ in Radom. It is difficult to find an object that would oppose the sculptural hardening more than a cloud. And then, the artist erects a monument to this very elusive density of particles of water floating in the air, to this romantically perceived surface for the projection of human dreams. The neon contours are a sculptural interpretation of the drawings of clouds included in medieval maps. They are a metaphor of infinity, freedom, the desire to travel and extra-terrestrial life. Goldberg’s works pose questions both about the special direction of the place and about the individual, historical and social utopias hidden behind the contemporary images of an idyll: with the use of clouds, people travel in their dreams somewhere else, they escape from reality. They build their ‘castles in the clouds’, where their illusory imaginings and desires live. These light objects also represent the lack of boundaries and a freedom of thought.
Besides Neon Cumulus, the exhibition features a sort of study desk, on which there are models of clouds made in different materials – porcelain, silver-plated metal and papier-mâché. They present the creative process of the production of each object in the public space. Before it happens, what precedes it is gathering information, studies as well as tests and experiments. The silver cloud, which looks like a jeweler’s gem, is a miniature model of the cloud hovering over the Gerischs’ villa in Neumünster, whereas the porcelain clouds had been made before the construction of the Cumulus in Berlin.
The video projection shown in the middle part of the gallery is accompanied by a gold twig – a fragment of the nest made of 24-carat gold for a Berlin primary school situated in the district Marzahn-Hellersdorf. It will be placed in a glass safe in the outer wall of the building and will serve as an investment for the school’s future needs.
The installation Terrain. Rolina Pond was designed specially for the exhibition in Orońsko. The artist had first examined the bottom and the depth of the pond, and then built its glass equivalent in the gallery. The project refers to the works in the Norwegian city of Bergen and the Canadian Edmonton. In Bergen, a surface built of polished, steel triangles covers the rocky waterside of the fjord in the city. The construction is adjusted to the geographical coordinates of the Earth and adapts to the topography of the ground. The shining, mirror surfaces of the Norwegian project, the glass surfaces of the Orońsko work, complemented with a model of the Canadian work, covered in silvery graphite, reproduce topographies and at the same time illustrate the surroundings.
The exhibition in the glass building of the orangery in the sculpture park – featuring three transparent installations, including two built of glass – refers to designing the natural garden landscape, by measuring and constructing natural phenomena like clouds, rain or the bed of a pond in the park. Neon Cumulus (2010/2012), installation Terrain. Rolina Pond (2017) and the video projection 25 Min. of Rain + Beech Tree, with the addition of mock-ups of related projects, such as 24kt in Berlin, Cumulus 11.08 in Neumünster, 53°20 in Edmonton or 60°N 05°E (encased waterside) in Bergen, correspond to the nature surrounding them, seen outside the gallery windows. The artist also conveyed a message for the birds flying around, writing it on the glass panes in ultraviolet paint, invisible for the human eye. Instead of the traditional silhouettes of predators, which are supposed to protect the birds from crashing into transparent surfaces, he placed there various inscriptions.
The “Orangery” Gallery also displays twenty drawings-designs for the sculpture park in Orońsko. One of them has been chosen to be produced and since the end of July the visitors will be able to admire the new, monumental sculpture titled The Opera Ain’t over till the Fat Lady Sings. The explanation of the mysterious title can be found in the folder accompanying the exhibition. Besides, a catalogue presenting Thorsten Goldberg’s work is also available.
On 20th and 21st October this year, coinciding with Thorsten Goldberg’s exhibition, an international conference will be held in Orońsko: ‘Sculpture Today 2. On Art in the Public Space’, which will introduce examples of such art and its practical aspects. The participants of the conference include representatives of European cities: Berlin, Vienna, Brussels and Oslo, as well as Polish cities: Warsaw, Poznan and Gdansk.
Thorsten Goldberg, Berlin-based artist (b. 1960) specializes in art in the public space. He is the author of a large number of installations and projects in Germany, Norway, Canada and Poland. His works, which are an example of innovative activity in the scope of art in the public space, have already been presented in prestigious galleries and museums in Poland: the Gallery of Contemporary Art ‘Łaźnia 2’ in Gdańsk, Arsenal Gallery in Białystok or the National Museum in Szczecin. On top of the building of the Mazovian Centre of Contemporary Art ‘Elektrownia’ in Radom every evening there shines a cloud, sitting on its corner. In Gdansk on the Motława, every tenth passer by triggers the appearance of a pink cloud. In 2012 Pink Occurrence won an annual competition of the Zewnętrzna Gallery of the City of Gdansk for a work of art to be situated in the public space.
More at: http://thorstengoldberg.de/pl/