Concrete, steel, varnish, sunfllower seeds

201x 66 x 66 cm 

Walkowiak’s experiment with form takes concrete shape not only in his filmic works but also in a series of sculptures in which he probes the experience of the object in the context of its environment and the possibility of interaction between body and form. The modernist promise of the sublimity of geometric forms is renegotiated through the possibility of putting the objects to practical uses, placing the visitor in an immediate and performative relation to the work.

In Untitled (Object for Birds) (2016), a structure made of stacked concrete cubes that recalls the sculptures of American Minimal Art, the artist has created a “feeding station” for birds. The sculpture’s formal cohesiveness is fractured by what emerges upon closer inspection to be its functional purpose: the grains are the signified of an invitation and proof of an actual usability of the object, but then the absence of the animals brings it back into the register of sculptural sign, and hence of abstract form. By hinting at a connection to the realm of the real and animate while insistently retaining its form and distance, the object also alludes to the gesture of the colonization of the “foreign” that modernism never quite shook off, completing the circle that began with Le Corbusier’s vision in Chandigarh. 

Text: Marlies Wirth, MAK - Musuem of Applied Arts, Vienna 2016
Photos: (c) MAK / Alsan Kudrnofsky

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