Viviane Gernaert

Foto: Stefan Heine
Amores Parros III, 2010 Zellan, Lack 19 x 30 x 29 cm, Ed. 3 + 1 AP


Moments of movement


The Hamburg-based artist Viviane Gernaert refers in her sculptural and graphic works to contemporary films of the genre Martial Arts and to the combat play of trained dogs. Both areas of interest are to be caught with the concept of violence. However, if one locks at the plastics and drawings carefully, this concept loses itself fast, because the frozen, powerful movement moments which remain visible look so aesthetic that every moment of power, brutality and fight seems faded out.

The viewer still knows very exactly that that sword of Damocles floats above him which can quickly release real imagination and film imagination in seconds and he must argue with the archaic circumstances which can go back to the concepts: An ambivalent and absolutely fragile relation between art, aesthetics and power.

Her figures, made of stiffened fabrics are snapshots of a fraction of movement. Besides, movement and action enter a causal relation because they represent a determining moment of the cinematic presentation. How the actual sequence could go on is left to the film expert, the other there remains their imagination.

The objects are no clearly outlined figures – rather the way of the "blowing" phenomena suggests movements as well as temporal Before like After. For the artist the moment of capturing the dynamic plays the crucial role and the question linked with it: How she can make breath-taking speed in the stiffness of a sculpture visible. Besides, Viviane Gernaert makes use of a trick herself, because all her objects are characterized by the instability of the moment of a not concluded action. The figures are in the jump, kick, fall or another putatively unstable posture.

The brilliant-varnished dog sculptures poured in Cellan confirm in spite of different materiality on the same way the aestheticisation of fight scenes without their idealization. Nevertheless, in them not the instability plays contradictorily to the fabric sculptures the tenor, but the strength wedged into each other. The conflict of two fighting dogs is at the same time the cooperation of the physical movement direction, which is compressed in the heads firmly clenched as nodes. This impression is strengthened by the renunciation of colour. The dogs are porcelain-like white or piano varnish colours black.


Claus Friede

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