Location: Johnengalerie, Berlin
An eclectic personality, able to develop an individual and strongly recognizable poetry, up to date thanks to the themes confronted, German artist Olaf Holzapfel knows how to depict the complexity of the world in which we live, representing it through a vast vocabulary of expressive materials and technologies.
Holzapfel’s works are made of materials such as PVC and polycarbonate and are produced in close co-operation with his studio assistants. The basis of each work is a flat-surface piece of synthetic material that is heated in the oven and is, for the duration of a few mintues, shapeable. For this period of time, Holzapfel develops a kind of choreography (previously tried and tested with paper), in which every person involved performs a step in the temporarally sequential chain of action which finally leads to the folding. What remains in the end is the cold, an hence static, object.
A two-dimenstional module becomes a three-dimensional thing, which is habitually presented on a table-like pedestal. The table stands for “work” and “action” just as does the object located on it – the ration of original material, work invested and final product being established via the human beings and their individual capacities. The “human dimension” and chance – traditional factors in art history to some degree – give Holzapfel’s works their accordingly incalculable form.
To Holzapfel, art should extend far beyond the narrow confines of pictorial representation and sculpture, and be developed through an open dialogue with the materials and things making up our everyday world.
In his work, Holzapfel experiments with unusual combinations between materials which apparently form part of different categories: Holzapfel mixes them, in a casual way, forming fantastic ensembles in which a sense of openness is concentrated with respect to customs and
a subtle vein of irony.
PVC, cardboard, rubber and many other materials are presented in the form of everyday objects, from wrappings to containers, recomposed to form an unusual landscape. The artist’s work stresses the affinity between the materials and proposes a fantastic world which attracts for its physicality and its strong expressiveness.
Technical info: PVC sheet
Picture credits: Olaf Holzapfel