Troubling Matter focuses on the key player in Michael Sailstorfer’s practice, the material. Sculptures, photographs and videos are being shown that address the reference to the sphere of representationalism. By consistently working on and with what is available, the artist constantly finds new answers to the question of how artistic expression can be defined today. He picks set pieces out of everyday contexts and adapts them through deconstruction and transformation so they can be connected to wide-ranging narratives. He checks materials with different qualities for their potential to occupy and change the space according to the situation. Thus updating the specific tradition of kinetic and (post-)minimalist sculpture from the 1960s against a backdrop of contemporary combinations of technology, people and nature.
Under the title Troubling Matter the material being shown tells of its previous use in other contexts. At the same time it reveals its own independent presence in its artistic redefinition and therefore seems humanoid. Gaping openings and porous walls in concrete ruins reveal flashes of portrait-like traits; country cabins get burnt in their own ovens or are constructed into rubble sculptures by raining drops of ice; mask-like cast metals with cardboard texture hide under layers of fine trompe l’oeil painting or gold leaf. The artistically varied, “troubled” material in the Troubling Matter exhibition consequently becomes a “troubling” matter for the viewer that finds perpetuation or demise in every single person’s imagination.
Michael Sailstorfer, born in Velden in 1979, lives and works in Berlin. Since his studies at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste München and at Goldsmiths College in London he has shown his nationally and internationally highly respected conceptual approach to the public in numerous solo and group exhibitions.