Karin Sander: SKULPTUR / SCULPTURE / SCULTURA: Museion, Bolzano, Italy

30 May - 20 September 2020

“If working on an exhibition of contemporary art means always constructing a dynamic project that changes as it develops, in this case we faced some truly exceptional and unexpected circumstances. Thanks to the way the artist works, we can also offer a remotely accessible virtual tour, as a preview of the exhibition. I am particularly happy, though, to be able to guarantee that right from the first day, visitors will also be able to enjoy this exhibition “physically”, as this period has shown us that nothing can replace the physical experience of interacting with a work of art,” Letizia Ragaglia, the Museion Director.

In her exhibitions, Karin Sander humorously alludes to readymade situations, taking as her theme common cultural scenarios in their institutional and historical contexts. In doing so, she intervenes in established structures, altering them, accentuating certain aspects and circumstances and inviting her public to join in. The supposedly familiar is reconceptualised and becomes the starting point of a process of investigation.
The Museion exhibition includes a number of distinctively Karin Sander features. The exhibition begins on the ground floor, in the Museion foyer. Here, visitors are greeted by a work that immediately makes them part of the exhibition. Identities on Display consists of a series of glass lockers, conceived as a cloakroom and to be used by visitors as such. The artist has also intervened in the functional aspects of the building, for example, by reprogramming the slats that regulate the influx of daylight on the façade. At the centre of the exhibition space, on the fourth floor of the museum, Karin Sander has laid down a gigantic carpet with a plan of the exhibition room woven into it. So, visitors can read the various dimensions, as well as walking or even sitting on them. This is how the artist creates scenes in which the visitors themselves become part of the exhibition. Like a kind of ballet, the museum’s glass slats open and close, directing the visitor’s attention, first towards a number of the artist’s previous works and then onto the wonderfully faceted landscape outside. And it is precisely this landscape that is reproduced as a 3D printed model, in the museum’s interior.

“Karin Sander’s exhibition is perfectly in line with the course Museion has taken in recent years, particularly with regard to the numerous exhibitions dedicated to the contemporary idea of sculpture. The title “Sculpture” chosen by the artist to publicise the exhibition is a term that is not only a deliberately inappropriate definition of her art, but also has historical connotations that are firmly masculine. As what Sander is referring to, with subtle irony and feminine mischief, is the fact that the great “Paragone” debate is seen as the exclusive prerogative of men.” Letizia Ragaglia, Museion Director.

The exhibition can be seen in a different virtual form with or without 3D VR glasses for smartphones. Private pictures of real and virtual visitors, which were taken during the Corona Lockdown, were sent to the museum digitally as a photo exchange. These photographs have been integrated only in the virtual exhibition, the real exhibition on site was a different one.

 

On the occasion of the exhibition Skulptur / Sculpture / Scultura a catalogue was published by Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König, Cologne