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Martin Eder's first exhibition in Zurich opens at Hauser & Wirth
Installation view, ‘Martin Eder. The Collective Unconscious’, Hauser & Wirth Zürich, Switzerland, 2013© Martin Eder. Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth and Galerie EIGEN + ART Leipzig / Berlin. Photo: Stefan Altenburger Photography Zürich.

By: Anna-Catharina Gebbers

ZURICH.- Hauser & Wirth presents Martin Eder’s first exhibition in Zurich. ‘The Collective Unconscious’ highlights Eder’s sculptural work, a lesser known, yet integral aspect of his artistic practice. The exhibition features a massive new sculptural installation by Eder, complemented by a new, large-scale painting.

In the gallery, a gigantic, boulder-like object hovers in the air, painted black and bathed in an ominous red light. Expanding into the architecture like a virus, the huge shape constructed from wood and building materials, also exudes a sense of calm, tranquility and protection. Viewed from a distance, the smaller and larger objects appear to form the head and trunk of a gigantic recumbent figure. The title of the installation, ‘Portrait of My Imaginary Mother / Come Crashing’, calls forth associations with early childhood memories and what Freud referred to as the primal fantasy or primal scene.

The installation is flanked by the picture of a young, nude woman seated between riotous clouds of color. Although it is an intimate portrait, Eder’s subject seems distant and aloof. This impression is heightened by a layer of epoxide resin that partially seals the picture. The glossy surface seems like a layer of protective glass, but is also reminiscent of everything from the covers of glossy magazines to plastic dildos. The work is a (primal) fantasy in which boundaries are blurred between one’s own subconscious and the collective subconscious, infiltrated with images from commercial advertising.

Like the crystallised, angular structure of the sculpture, the fluidity of the painting, like the epoxide poured over it, has also been contained and frozen. The process of expansion, life and the uncontrollable is cut off by a state of solidification and death. In this way, Eder juxtaposes a certain vivacity and vigour with an abrupt end: uncontrolled movement – both fascinating and menacing – is frozen and everything living is stilled. With ‘Portrait of My Imaginary Mother / Come Crashing’, Eder not only hints at the transitory in this shutdown of time, but also creates a check on the storm of images and information from the communication and advertising media that control contemporary society.

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