Down to Earth (2021)

Gips-Dublikat eines 20 x 20 cm großen Stücks Straße mit Dose, Zigarettenkippen und Kaffeebecher

As a contribution to the Viertelfestival 2021 (an art festival in Lower Austria) we carried out a detailed examination of the ground in the town of Haag. Using different media, pieces of the ground measuring 20 x 20 cm each were portrayed. The theme of the festival (which was scheduled for 2020 and then postponed by year due to Covid) was Bodenkontakt 2020 [literally: soil contact, meaning also: down-to-earthness] 2020. The three component project was conceived in collaboration with painter Isabell Kneidinger and consists of:

  • A series of paintings by Isabell Kneidinger scaled 20 x 20 cm
  • A workshop for local residents who took and presented photos of 20 x 20 cm “ground scapes” (images printed in a 1:1 format).
  • Our work Down to Earth:

Using silicon moulds, six ground scapes measuring 20 x 20 cm were cast in white plaster. As part of the casting process they were heightened to take the form of blocks.

The sculptures incorporate (partially contradictory) notions of abstraction and representationalism; nature and the space of humans, art and the everyday. Does some art reside in the everyday under our feet? Is it the casting that turns it into art? To an extent, the procedure resembles the production of block images in geo science: A piece of terrain is separated from its context to represent that very context. Unlike in such block images, however, we choose much smaller samples of “terrain” and rendered them not as a graphic abstraction but as a three-dimensional duplicate. These works can be understood as asking whether something typical is represented or if it is rather something unique that is presented: By choosing a specific excerpt, a piece of ground – this piece of ground – is declared special.

Commissioned by
Logo Viertelfest 2021