‘Hammerfest’ 2014

Cruise & Callas
Kirstin Strunz
Alexandrinenstr. 1
10969 Berlin
Mob + 49 179 463 6046
Tel + 49 30 7492 7880

‘Hammerfest’ 2014




The show is beautiful. Elegant, splendidly exquisite. There is a gentle, poetic, sad storyline connecting all the pieces that I sensed emerging during the process of installation. It’s a show I am very proud of. Plus I met a great woman there and we laughed all night long. Big loud laughs all night long!

We are greeted at the door by a solitary pointed wave titled ‘Demosthenes’, the name of a Greek orator who practiced his speeches against the roar of senseless waves along the shore. Beyond ‘Demosthenes’, standing tall above the show, looking onto and beyond the show is The Stranger. The narrator and observer of the show (which originally was titled ‘Hammerfest’, and is now believed to have a better name in the title, Anthropocene’ is The Stranger, standing in a steadfast heroic posture inspired by Soviet heroic sculpture with heroic proportional heavy weight of monumentality (a massive body tapering from the feet to the head) which looks defiantly ahead into the brightly bleak future, Tucked under her right arm grasped in her hand is a heart, a dollar sign, and a broken chain is draped over her shoulders . She grips in her left hand the sprouting stump of a tree, with a knot and break in the bark suggesting an orange female genitalia. A soft yellow Happy Face is propped drooping against her advancing foot. To her back is a grinning brick clown face upon which sits a homunculus, a fetal skeleton dressed in an aged tattered gown.

The Stranger looks to the horizon, in the direction of the ‘altar ‘on which stands The Sacrifice, the sculpture of an elk attacked by a lion who has pounced with death onto the back of the elk, the carnevore biting into the vegetarian’s neck, is flanked by two abstract works. These two works are ‘Untitled No. 7’, a yellow and white encrusted structure of tubes and tunnels of various proportions suggesting the a brass and woodwind impression of an Elks’ bellow, while ‘Bust’, a blood-red glazed brick structure whose shape suggests a busted ruin of a broken brick edifice in the shape of shoulders and head . The presentation of these two abstract works function as ‘speakers’ to the drama of the silent audio system of the tragic death of the great Elk, an operatic Elk sacrifice stereo system.

Between the Stranger and the altar is the Sphinx, lying in repose while regarding her paw, the curling shape of which echoes the shapes of the waves pulsing below her rocky perch as a blend of animal and human and fate.

Beyond the Sphinx is the featured stage drama, the ‘altar’. It is central to the wall to the right on entering. It supports ‘The Sacrifice’, a large Elk beset by a Lion, who claws and bites the Elk’s neck while the Elk turns his head in pain with antlers and open mouth. The Elk collapses onto his kneeling forelegs, genuflecting to Power made of white ceramic beneath a light white glaze in what hints of some pale silent film of struggle between life and death.

To the right of the audience entering the room from the street stands the ‘Happy Ending’, a wind-blown strand populated by three palms bending in post-storm winds, with a wave rushing towards shore, threatening a sandcastle on the beach, a beach littered with fallen palm fronds, coconuts and a defensive crab who confronts the audience. A dirty, drippy glaze covers the sculpture like a water color painting.A rainbow in bands of ceramic glaze arches behind the oncoming wave.

The furthest piece from the entrance, standing beyond ‘The Stranger’, rests ‘The Sleeping God’, a sculpture framed by the darkened space of the office. This sculpture is ‘The Sleeping God’. The god slumbers behind a foreground screen of two palms, one of which is broken into fragments, creating an ‘event’ barricade running parallel to the reclining body of the baby-like god, who placidly stretches on his side, one hand pillowing his head, reminiscent of a Parinirvana, a Buddha passing into Nirvana on a sandy beach, a large wave beyond the sleeping god rears up to threaten the scene. The sleeping god is unperturbed, dreaming under the arching storm, flecks of sea foam spattered across his back.

In the office, removed from the company of the other sculptures stands ‘The Muse’ and its companion wave sculpture, titled, ‘’Counting the Waves’.

The repeated pulse of waves around the room through many of the sculptures, a clay sea lapping in frothy rhythm, slow and sad, and full of wind and quiet. The show has a mood of sublime cataclysm, cosmic destruction irresistible in transitions and exchanges passing through and between the sculptures in different order, a story that can begin and end at any point to begin again, but relating to each other in theme and mood.