Cordula Prieser

Creating space


    Hanne Zech, August 2001

    Spiral springs...web-like, wooden and metal frameworks, some draped with transparent or semi-transparent material...colourful threads, stretched across the room... wire structures: this is the vocabulary, or indeed the system of co-ordinates, wich Cordula Prieser uses to create and define space.
    Despite their inherent differences, each sculpture has in common with the others the fact that it identifies the relations between the objects and their surroundings. The artist focuses on interfaces and emptiness as the central theme in her sculptures. Prieser creates a dialogue between the objects,
    their surroundings and the onlooker, by reducing distance between subject and the object.

    The small fragile wire-structures or "About the big wide open" conjure up an impression of graceful, organic shapes, despite their constructive frames. This is mainly because the shapes do not convey the sense of mechanical precision dominated by square edges. They are inividually constructed, as if ligthly curved and with differing density. Their instable shape reflects a condition limited in time. The forgoing state is further emphasised by open structures, which attribute to intermediate space and emptiness as an importance equal to that of the framework itself.

    The time factor recognisable in these works as the balance between stability and instability, is made the central theme of the installation "Lichtpause" ("Lightbreak") 1996. Cordula Prieser has marked the moving spheres of light and shadow with the help of colourful threads that stretch from windowframes to floor. The artist herself says: "The interior of the room is a receiving station, signals are recorded within its hollow form for the moment they occur.
    The room develops bit by bit into an archive of time". Its a poetic piece of work, in which the immateriality of time and light is transformed and fixed in different places and on to marked spaces within the room. What once existed - the shadow - is no longer visible. Only the marked area and the spanned threads remain. The light shining through the window - now at a different angle - illuminates the thread, so that they change colour and seem to be immaterial. Metaphors of the memory.

    "Zwiegespräch" ("Colloquy") brings the relationship between two objects, one of daily use, the other an art shape, to the fore. A chair stands in front of a cocoon-formed hollow shape, opened to reveal its two halves. The simple wooden chair, with shaped back and red plastic seat cover, reflects the superficial formal similarity to the sculpture and, at an initial level, creates a link between the objects. The positioning of the chair is essential in the relation between the two objects. The view is automatically directed towards both halves of the object by the position of the chair, that takes on the role of the onlooker. Tension is created not only by the two objects but also through the intermediate space, which draws ones view towards the sculpture´s interior, thus implying breach of intimacy. The viewer can no longer physically distance himself from the object.

    Cordula Prieser moves from visual to physical entry into the sculpture with her the art work for the Gerhard-Marcks-House (Pavilion). She does away with borders between describing and entering a room. Between two slightly seperated round shapes, placed diagonally above one another, irregulary arched wooden forms are suspended, almost reaching to the pavilion walls.
    The slightly suggested rounded shape of the sculpture is at an angle and appears to be - despite the wood and massive metal constructions - instable.
    In order to enter the pavilion one is forced to go through the sculpture. Each time the observer moves, there is a constant metamorphosis between the interior and exterior. Both experiences are normally incompatible, so that for the observer, what is inside and what is outside nevertheless more and more become unclear. Isn´t the space between the arches part of the outside, since the arches themselves correspond to the architectural elements of the exterior and along with it define an interior other than that of the sculpture? Richard Deacon worked with equivalent space-physical experiences among observers. Both artist´s experiences are based on the fact that every room is viewed sujectively within a structural relation, in which spaces are created and to which values can be attributed.

    Translation: Luise Weber-Steinhaus


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