Lars Dittrich and André Schlechtriem are pleased to present the work of Dorian Gaudin and Martin Roth in a dual-artist exhibition UNTITLEDS, marking the first presentation of each artist’s work with the gallery, on view 29 October through 10 December, 2016. The paired sculptures and wall-relief installations of Gaudin and Roth, bracket the mechanical and the natural through objects of implied incident, an existing kinetic performance, and future projections with developing biotic environments.
Within the front of the gallery space, Gaudin (b. 1986 / Paris, FR) has re-installed Untitled (2011), a large-scale, wood and metal wall construction, with multiple moving components, its’s gears constantly reconfiguring the shapes as a solid wall structure from a flaccid floor derangement. Alongside the sculpture, Gaudin premieres several new wall-relief objects of Anodized aluminium and concrete.
“Formally speaking, this series of works performs the outcome of collisions between various geometric and material syntaxes. With their notes of buffed metal, however, they also recall car crash shrapnel, aeroplane fuselage, and space junk. If one parses these (anti)compositions for a hint of symbolism, it appears to obtain in the tension between material becoming and unbecoming, and the limits of legibility.
Gaudin’s monumental installation Untitled (2011) is also concerned with these issues. Comprising a series of wooden blocks that recall rough-hewn bricks, each attached to a mechanical pulley system, the sculpture ‘performs’ a process of collapse and reconstruction.
Like the Minimalists, Gaudin’s sculptural imaginary embraces real space, rather than the rarefied ‘siteless [transcendent] realm of abstract sculpture’ where artworks do not address their surroundings or context. This is the kind of space that you and I walk around in. However, Gaudin’s materialist realism is of a more speculative bent than the Marxian variant which influenced Donald Judd and others. Beyond concern for relations between objects and people, Gaudin seems interested in interactions between non-human objects and other non-human objects. His art suggests that such operations in ‘real’ space do not need a human viewer in order to matter. His is not so much a rejection of the Minimalist worldview, but a post-human widening of its frame—a maximalism.”
In furthering this reaction to Judd and object-relations, Roth (b 1977 / Graz, AT) has recreated two of Donald Judd‘s iconic metal stack works. Untitled – Donald Judd II (2016), consisting of 9 stacks, poses as an authentic late 60’s Judd Stack. Hung on the wall like a painting but climbing like rungs on a ladder from floor to ceiling like a proper Judd, the “nature” of the object is revealed on further inspection. Roth’s stacks functions as living habitats for slugs. Opposite the opposing Gaudin wall, a single stack, Untitled – Donald Judd 1 (2015), contains snails. The living organisms become the work‘s main actors, with the slugs and snails as ephemeral mark makers whose movements cast unpredictable shadows on the wall and floor of the gallery.
“On the glass panes of Roth’s replica Donald Judd sculptures, snails and slugs ooze their way through what we initially understand as art historical space-time, leaving trails of gunk behind them, messing things up. Can their activity really be boiled down to Roth attacking Judd’s propensity for pristine surfaces, through a profane bio-sculptural gesture? Perhaps, but, qua Gastropods, the ‘real’ space of this art object—and its history—now seems to belong to the life and times of non-humans too. This is to say, these creatures are not just part of an artwork—they are also working. They are working at what snails and slugs do. While we cannot ascribe psychology to them, it seems clear that nothing about what they appear to want has to do with Minimalism—even if they are contained, physically, within its geometric steel and glass analogue. We cannot even say that Minimalism (or Roth’s ‘art’, per se) is their terrain. When one considers the trails left upon the sculpture’s glass panels they appear, rather, as so many traces of the snails’ (in)difference to any human agenda whatsoever—an index of their ongoing, utter disregard for what we think about things.”
The above excerpts are from the exhibition essay titled Recombinatrix, by writer/curator Nadim Samman. The complete essay is available in the catalog PDF available from the gallery on the occasion of the exhibition. Please contact Owen Clements, owen(at)dittrich-schlechtriem.com, for information and with any further inquiries.
Gaudin will have a solo-show at the Palais de Tokyo, Paris, opening in February 2017, followed by a presentation in March with DITTRICH & SCHLECHTRIEM and Nathalie Karg at The Armory Show NY / PLATFORM 2017.
Roth is featured in “Riptide”, a project currently on view at the Korean Cultural Centre UK (KCCUK), London, through 11 November, 2016. An artist catalogue has been released through Black Dog Publishing, titled “ In the fall of 2016 Martin Roth published a selection of his works” and is available at the gallery in Berlin.