With his sculptures and video installations the artist Thomas Steffl directs our attention to the relations between body, nature and society.
His work is concerned first and foremost with representations of naturalness and corporality that are to be experienced as cultural constructions. For him, engagement with ones own body and that of others is not a process dependent exclusively on personal decisions. In a wider context it is the specific expression of a culture captured at a particular moment in time and subject to constant change.
The exhibition presents a new complex of the artists works. They take up the theme of that age-old, romantic desire for an authentic life, one that is close to nature and free from the fetters of civilisation. The works on display deal with alternative ways of thinking and acting, and illuminate the notion of individual desires in collective systems. Hanging lamps with motifs from naturist magazines or the video installation »Baumfrau« (»Tree woman«) create an atmospheric, sensual setting, yet pose fundamental questions about the motivation for wishing to pursue a »different« kind of life - or dreaming of it. The desire to remove boundaries whilst at the same time recognizing the boundaries of human perception plays a decisive role here. What boundaries are indispensable for living together; what boundaries do we wish or are we able to overstep?
As far back as 2000, PIN. Freunde der Pinakothek der Moderne
(»PIN. Friends of the Pinakothek der Moderne«) acquired one of the works by the artist, who at that time had just graduated from the Art Academy. Thomas Steffls installation »Modell Homburg« conjures a monumental landscape picture from a hat-box, thus demonstrating that everything visible is actually pure illusion.
Thomas Steffl born in Munich in 1970 | 1995-2001 Studied at the Academy of Fine Art, Munich | 2001 grant from the Bavarian State Ministry of Science, Research and Art to tour USA | 2001 project grant from the City of Munich | 2003 Art Award from the State of Bavaria | Project at the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen | 2004 Solo presentation at Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich | 2005 Project at Whitechapel Gallery, London | 2006 Solo exhibition at Kunstmuseum Bonn | 2007 Group show at Kunstverein Frankfurt | 2008 represented in the Collection of Contemporary Art of the German Federal Republic at Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin