I have always loved sculptures for their grace and the much clearer sense of craftmanship than I do with paintings and other art forms. Don't know why really, but there you go. It the same thing with architecture, even if I don't really feel anything for the overall design I get flushed with wonder if I start to think of the workmanship and the actual building the houses etcetera.
On Aros Aarhus Museum of Art, Danish-German sculptur Christian Lemmerz showed a marvelous and very dark exhibition of works playing on the traditional notions of what sculptures should and could do as representative and decoration and working as well as contemporary comments to the world around us. The show was titled 'Ghost' and it was set in an all black setting with spotlights on the scultures. The sculptures were either in Italian marble, plastic or some sort of papmache (as far as I could tell - this may not be true though, I rarely read the labels for anything else but the titles.) Very gloomy and provoking if all you have been introduced to before is like the long stately galleries with busts and decorative sculptures like at the Versailles. This was nothing like that!
Detail of 'Abu Ghraib'
detail of the sculpture pair above
The slightly coloured stuff you can see inside the plast sculpture look anatomically like lungs and were attached to some sort of respirator and therefore the sculpture was breathing. Very scarry actually, to see 'life' in a dead thing beacuse we tend to distinguish so sharply between breathing equals living and the reverse. I also had connotations to a hospital ward with patients hooked up on these machines and only 'living' because of them. I still can't decide whether I like that or not.
A huge drawing called 'Dante's Dream'. A comment or illustration of how Lemmerz pictures (literally) Hell in Dante's work.
To give a sense of the scale of the drawing, and the 'entrance' zone to the dark covered rooms where most of his marble sculptures were displayed.
Overall, I found it a very beautiful yet haunting show, and some of the works, especially 'Abu Ghraib' was very hard on me emotionally. I would actually have loved to look more closely at it but I could literally feel my eyes tearing up! Thank god for the darkness, I say! However, Christian Lemmerz will definately be an artist who I will keep an eye on - if only for the amazing techniques and craftmanship he demonstrated here.
Aros on 'Ghost' in English