Although minimalism has reduced sculpture to basic aesthetic figures, the symbolism removed from the object has been re-inscribed in the form of the sculpture’s linguistic discourse. Harald Klingelhöller turns this paradox into an artistic theme. He gives his sculptures, which can be read as minimalist, metaphorical sculptural titles, expanding materiality, texture and form along a variable boundary into the immaterial and conceptual sphere. As the artist says of his sculptures, “I have a quality of space in mind, in which the experience of physical space and the experience of language are carried forward in equal measure.” The title phrases open a second sphere between sculpture and space, within which the viewer can move both physically and conceptually. With the piece Strassen nach dem Regen erzählt, Schrankversion, this second layer becomes comprehensible at a very literal level. The sculpture can be viewed from two sides: one side is light and smooth, with geometric bars attached and rectangular indentations, while the other can be seen as its negative form. Rough surfaces and crosspieces that serve as supports for the wall elements refer back to the process of craftsmanship and construction. Klingelhöller’s sculpture refers to the principles of seeing in perspective, as described in phenomenology, in which the non-visible, obscured sides of an object are experientially incorporated into the artwork. The difference between a supposed front and back side that can be discovered by walking around the sculpture reveals the act of perceiving as a conscious, cognitive process. In this way, the horizontal lines of streets in the rain-soaked surface are extended via their reflection into the realm of the imaginary.
1 Hans Rudolf Reust, “Mischgrenzen: Ein Polylog um Skulpturen von Harald Klingelhöller”, Kunstforum International, 139 (1997), pp. 288–300.
In the exhibition:
Harald Klingelhöller Straßen nach dem Regen erzählt, Schrankversion, 2011 Plaster, metall 241 × 121,5 × 99,5 cm Courtesy of the artist
f.l.t.r.: Harald Klingelhöller, Straßen nach dem Regen erzählt, Schrankversion, 2011 / Ulrike Draesner, Be-Sprechbarkeit, 2021
Exhibition view: NOTHINGTOSEENESS, Akademie der Künste, 2021.
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