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Roithmayr, F. (2016) Service. [Show/Exhibition]

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This exhibition project investigates the various materials involved in artistic production through a focus on chance and contingency in the procedures of the realisation and presentation of sculpture. Contributing to the discussion of contemporary sculpture, this project offers significant new ways of presenting chance and contingency as results of formations and processes of material transformations that cannot be named, but have instead the potential to accumulate and become sculpture. The project also de-stabilises the central and autonomous role of the artist and the single and distinct artwork through implicating museum and gallery staff as active participants in the economy of artistic production, and dispersing artworks across sites and exhibitions, repositioning and extending questions of authorship, trust, care and responsibility in relation to the production and display of sculpture, and stressing the importance of sprawling, collaborative networks for current artistic work.

Item Type:Show/Exhibition
Divisions:Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Arts and Communication Design > Art > Fine Art
ID Code:78423
Uncontrolled Keywords:sculpture, chance, contingency, production, art making, exhibition making, art formation, material transformation, unnamable, autonomy, artistic production, participation
Publisher Statement:MOTINTERNATIONAL Brussels is delighted to announce the first solo exhibition of Florian Roithmayr in Belgium. Florian Roithmayr’s work explores a concern for activities and relationships that shape environments, supported by his investigation of empathy in various forms of production, including archaeology, conservation or pedagogy. He is known for a diverse practice often emphasizing the process of moulding and casting as both documentary and transitory exchange that leaves subtle traces. Central to these processes is the peeling open of layers to reveal the generative gap between shapes, surfaces and materials that form and yield another. In this hidden and unobserved space, the gesture of contact and touch continues to reappear and proliferate throughout the history of sculpture. SERVICE refers to the inconsistency between intangible engagements that produce no concrete material results and the substantial inventory needed to assist and sustain exchanges or provisions. The set of actions and solutions to deliver services are often incongruous to any clear outcomes; their speed doesn’t allow language to attach itself to their performance; and their benefits might be postponed indefinitely. The residues left by such activities might often appear slight and indistinct. The past few years have seen Roithmayr’s practice informed by long periods spent as apprentice in concrete restoration, in car alteration industries or on excavation sites in the Sudanese desert. For this exhibition of new works, Roithmayr draws on these secluded and intimate engagements. SERVICE focuses on the shifting materiality that facilitates and registers actions and solutions to perform the transfer of assistance or the delivery of repair and upkeep, and their combined transitive potential for art. These are slowed down forms of production; they often require intense attention and commitment without any definite aims. The exhibition presents new works including The Attendants (2014), a series of repeated figure-like sculptures consisting of hollow breastplates that could be part of liveries or uniforms. Cast in concrete and papier-mâché, they emphasize surface and a breakdown of volume, similar to works by late 19th century artists like Wilhelm Lehmbruck or Medardo Rosso. In Endstart (2014), drooping and worn-out shoulder straps are lined up along a wooden rack, seemingly exhausted but still keeping in line; a moment of rest, before they are activated again and employed elsewhere. Made from low-value industrial or discarded materials, they waver between the humble or minimal intervention that positions sculpture as temporary and fugitive. Resigned to act and generate rather than understand, the protagonist in Robert Walser’s novel The Assistant wonders, “What is it that I’m accomplishing? What services have I provided to date? I’m firmly convinced that my lord and master hasn’t yet derived much benefit from me. Could I be lacking initiative, enthusiasm, flair?”. The assistant isn’t accomplishing anything, he knows little of what he is assisting with, he is not aware of the services he is rendering. His dilemma reveals what seems like withdrawal, inactivity or speechlessness to be either an escalation of commitment or the motivation for emancipation. It’s as if by suspending comprehension and benefits, SERVICE becomes the implausible support to register the fleeting nature of transmission and exchange.

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