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Group exhibition with sculptures beyond the conventional at Galerie Michael Janssen
Joris Van de Moortel, moule #2, #3 and #4 (Grid) 2011, Polyester, Silikon, Holz / Polyester, silicone, wood. 200 x 300 cm. Courtesy Galerie Michael Janssen, Berlin.

BERLIN.- Galerie Michael Janssen is presenting ...there is a crack in everything, a group exhibition with sculptures and objects by artists whose practices refer to, expand or go beyond the conventional notion of sculpture and its parameters. On view are works by Vanessa Billy, Valentin Carron, Liz Larner, Dan Peterman and Joris Van de Moortel.

Viewers customarily use volume, density and mass to make their initial judgments about what an object or sculpture might be and where it is situated; both in a space and in terms of their relationship to it. The works on display in the exhibition cut against these expectations and are hard to read at first glance. Unexpected color and material destabilize our sense of volume. Some of the works are spectacular and raucous, directly involving visitors while others are characterized more by quietness and conceptual acuity. In one way or another though they all are concerned with poetic transformations, with the ‘actio et reactio’ of elements, with circular processes without beginning or end, with potentials of threat, with improvised spectacles, with meditative deformations and with criticism of the consumer society – thus reflecting essentials of our current sensibilities and day-to-day world.

Vanessa Billy’s (*1978) practice is based on material-specific and formal considerations. Inter-related elements become the most important organizational principle in her artistic method. Found objects are the starting point and catalyst in her explorations. She responds to what she encounters by analyzing the reactions between different materials. In her collages, sculptures and installations Billy questions our viewing habits and our relationship with the exhibition architecture.

Valentin Carron (*1977) works across sculpture, painting and installation. In his work Carron questions the current meaning of central traditions of contemporary art making such as appropriation and reproduction. By choosing forms that have mostly lost their original meaning, his works are deliberately ambivalent commentaries on how objects are used and misused in their employment for individual or collective intensions, constructions or political contexts.

Liz Larner’s (*1960) purchase on sculpture stems from an unrelenting commitment to question the norms of the medium. She uses unexpected combinations of color, materials and form to intensify reception through the illusion inherent in material ambiguity; a testament of her manipulation of space. Innovating the way in which they are both spatially inhabited and conceptually understood her sculptures provide a bodily and visceral examination of the border between decadence and decay, which in turn registers as complicity among viewers. Her works render three-dimensional space as elastic and seem suspended in between order and chaos.

Dan Peterman’s (*1960) sculpture work and installed environments are focused on a consistent movement and transformation of materials. By manipulating existing objects and re-processing plastic, aluminum cans and flammable garbage, he explores a variety of formal and situational strategies that reveal the interrelated social, economic and political effects of our generation of waste. Compiled bits of consumer waste become traces of the endless human desire for new commercial offerings.

Joris Van de Moortel’s (*1983) practice and work consist of a complex web of ideas and references with a process-related and performative approach. It combines different disciplines and is characterized by a radical deployment of material in which predicted chance or “planned accidents” play a central role. His practice disrupts all expectations of what sculpture can be and plays with notions of referentiality. Similar to Marcel Broodthaers, Van de Moortel uses found or discarded material in order to create new objects and meaning from existing things.

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