REITER galleries is proud to present »house of bone body of stone«, a solo exhibition by Dan Stockholm, his first in our Leipzig gallery.
Fascinated by places and architecture with an innate historical significance and narrative tension, Dan Stockholm practices a “creative archaeology,” a method that involves fieldwork, research and studio praxis. His recent work evolves from what he calls “performative process,” a method that turns the finished piece into a vessel which carries the story of its own making.
Stockholm uses sculpture as an interface, link, or passage through which places and bodies – across temporal as well as spatial distances – are set in relation to each other. Architecture is a frequent reference point in his work, as he focuses on the conceptual fields of present and past, presence and absence, fleeting and enduring. Stockholm’s understanding of sculpture as a medium of storage and transmission, driven from his archaeological interest, is clarified in his work »HOUSE«.
The process for »HOUSE« began in 2013 only days after his father’s death. Over a period of three days the artist methodically touched the exterior of his father’s entire house centimeter by centimeter, the process becoming part ritual, part performance. The process ends with Stockholm translating this act of touching into object form by producing a number of negative plaster casts of his own hands. The casts are fixed by metal rods, which simultaneously offer protective anchorage and oppressive restriction. Metal scaffolding connects the floor and ceiling of the exhibition space, serving as displays for his organic plaster sculptures.
»HOUSE« is complemented by the film, »Don’t think about death« In the film we see residents of the Syrian city Damascus use a collection of architectural fragments as tools to create drawings directly on the ground. »Don’t think about death« is a filmed performative interaction made in collaboration with the Syrian artist Nourhan Sondok. Stockholm and Sondok met on social media, and from behind their respective screens in Copenhagen and Damascus, their correspondence eventually led to their collaboration. Despite the dangers faced in Syria, Sondok has been collecting architectural fragments from all over Damascus: from 4000-year-old columns, to newly constructed buildings destroyed in the Syrian conflict. As residents are invited to draw using these fragments collected throughout their own city, we experience the compression of different temporal moments that is so strong in Stockholm’s work; a soft human hand, the roughly drawn line, a fragment of a city, and ourselves, the viewer, far from Damascus.
In Leipzig the audience is invited to step onto Stockholm’s interactive site-specfic work:
»Level (Blue Mare, Königsblau)«. Trapped between two panes of glass, colored ink changes shape and concentration according to the tilt of the exhibition space and the individual movements of the viewer as they walk across the glass.
The exhibition, »house of bone body of stone«, brings together a wide range of Stockholm’s work in the historic Spinnerei for the first time. Each work can be considered as its own sculptural container, a vessel that acts to momentarily fix a presence and in doing so, transposes the sculptural object into the present, even when it is only a fleeting glimpse that materializes so enduringly in this way.