moma. the museum of the mechanical age. 119 problems

moma. the museum of the mechanical age. 119 problems (detail) / 2002 / book, 242 pages / Show: Diplomas / 06.06. ­ 30.06.2002 / Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna

first and foremost: the risk of ‘integrity.’ I presented my collected works in advance: “moma. the museum of the mechanical age. 119 problems”, a plain collection of marginal experiences; a summary of decisive events which caused fundamental changes. there will be no more! note the double move: the singularity of the experiences includes but cannot escape their shared goal: the “collected works” (oeuvre) will definitively be the sum of a life spent. (this kind of limitation of possible experiences should not deny its consequences. more than ever I insist on the openness of the conditions of life. still I feel as though I were in the middle of a fantastic, endless digression. This trajectory implies the perpetual menace of again reaching the point of exhaustion, which would demand the mentioned closure as completion. (119)) there will be no more! the most privileged position is to act posthumously. I reinterpret the possible totality of a life from a standpoint that will finally become my own. that’s a necessary and simple conclusion which follows my initial premise: that my work was always inspired by the fascination with the actual material extension of ourselves; that is not just in space but in time: the simple truth, for example that every word spoken affects language, imagined as a whole; including all of tomorrow’s discussions, all of tomorrow’s diatribes. note the almost unendurable answerability and outrageous interference; returning into the museum of the 119 to reveal the most paradoxical figure: that the limitations of the museum of the 119 at the same time allow an intensification and expansion of experiences: to make them anew. for less pretentious experiments I think we do not have to insist on using the art form. and the circus. (8 / 04 / 2004)

A book on the one hand should be balance sheet and has turned idiosyncratic into a kind of plan / program. 119 Drawings translated into words, finally photos: The museum of the mechanical age is the current state of formulating the entire activity. This is a BOOK as a program that is kept moving. In the present case, the pictures produce texts. Their inadequacy, which is also inappropriate here, follows the commitment to the methodology, which remains most fertile in the most indigestible places ­ with regard to the drafting of forthcoming work.

Featured post

Categorised as Werke


Warten 1 documents the experiment which was executed on the 1st of June 1999 on Vienna’s Westbahnhof trainstation. Occasions to wait were offered by all those trains that have been arriving within 24 hours form the far West. The attention was given, inspite of a ritualized welcoming of the trains, to nothing but the waiting itself. The effects of this waiting were recorded with a steel needle into a copper plate. Every resulting print of those plates (etchings) is resulting from the waiting time dedicated to prefiguring of a single train.

06.51, 07.38, 07.48, 08.08, 08.40, 08.55, 09.40, 09.50, 09.58, 10.40, 11.40, 12.40, 12.50, 13.40, 14.20, 14.40, 14.50, 15.40, 15.50, 16.40, 16.50, 17.40, 17.47, 18.40, 18.50, 19.40, 19.50, 20.40, 20.50, 21.20, 21.40, 21.50, 22.24, 22.40, 22.50, 23.20, 00.05, 00.55

Categorised as Werke

Die Säule mit dem Knie

Die Säule mit dem Knie (The Column with the Knee) / 2010, 2014 / wood, iron, screws, plaster / 190 x 25 x 20 cm / Show: u.A. Misha Stroj / 17.01.­ 08.03.2014 / Kerstin Engholm Galerie, Vienna

Categorised as Werke

Der Fall Offenberger

Sturz knapp vor dem Ziel! (Fall, shortly before the finishing Line!) / 1959/2003 / C­print on cardboard / 30,5 x 75 cm

A heap of misery? ­ A real document: The picture of the fall of a skater, Franz Offenberger, just before almost becoming the european champion of 1959. It is believed that the unrecognizability of his self, in this unforgettable and painful moment, was to be processed. If symbolic victories are conceivable, one will also have to speak of symbolic contentment. The image of the intact body can only spring from an imagination that is able to swell into complex and cosmological models. Integrity and boundaries of the body are prostheses and pragmatic foreshortening. The customary repression of the sensation of monstrous strangers within our tissue is probably in accordance with a technical dullness.

Offenberger 1 (1, down) / 1961/2003 / plaster, wire mesh, wood, skid / 53 x 230 x 106 cm

Surprising is the self­evident handling of the language and ideas of space and time, as well as consciousness. The attempt to master the shock of seeing where there is nothing to see (below), is proof that Offenberger was able to leap over the shadows of his pursuers ­ as if the shadows of his own self. The assumption is close, the skater Offenberger tried to live up to the image of himself, in the moment of defeat. A faithful translation of the depiction, in conjunction with the idea of the maximum tolerable stretch of memory of the sliding fall over the ice, will probably have produced the object shown on top. After all, the visible extremities are likely to pass as a complete index relative to the skater. Similarity can not be denied, the face is lost. The promised satisfaction with this type of mimicry is doubted. How far affect are to be considered, thought and felt collectively…will have to be in the center of future rehearsals.

Offenberger 2 (32, up) / 1978/2003 / wood, iron, paint, papermaché, wire mesh, skid, thread / diam. 222 cm / Show: am fluß (treibt eine wespe die schläft aber bloß) (On the River (floats a Wasp but only Sleeps)) / 05.05. ­ 27.06.2003 / Kerstin Engholm Galerie, Vienna

Categorised as Werke

Die Krone der Ver-schwägerung

29.12.2013, 16:04, Galata Bridge the encounter of two events: after the object of study (the countless variations of the wooden brackets that are used by the fishers on the Galata Bridge in Istanbul) was captured through the same photograph, which was shot for days in evenminded activity: the caught fish (!) popped in the frame.

And then…we had a vision. What if the bridge would not connect from here to there but would transform into a circular form? How would we connect. And see.

Die Krone der Verschwägerung (The Crown of Alliance) / 2014 / MDF, iron, plywood, cardboard, pencil, hinge, screws / 24,5 x 77 x 77 cm / Show: Misha Stroj / 17.01.­ 08.03.2014 / Kerstin Engholm Galerie, Vienna

Categorised as Werke

Misha Stroj, Signature

Report, conditionally. Even at standstill stays busy: the swimmer (Near Eastern wisdom)
What we show in the form of an exhibition is: a report. But it is art as well. I stuck to the circulating conventions of the production of art and at the same time I wish it to be perceived as a document. I have a quick look and land at Wikipedia: Report is definied as a document that objectively describes a situation or an action without the inclusion of any judgement of the author. At the expense of the discrepancy, arising through the wish to report in the form of art, thrives every documentary practise. In case it succeeds. On what are we reporting?

Der Schwimmer / 2013 / Holz, Farbe, Kreppband, Alu, MDF, Schwimmer / 125,5 x 177 x 35 cm / Ausstellung: Misha Stroj / 17.01.­ 08.03.2014 / Kerstin Engholm Galerie, Wien

Let us list the occasions, events and facts, which have led us to the works, elsewhere.* Because the discrepancy itself seems to be more important for the moment; it arose from the claim: to make a kind of art that could be made without the interference and the evaluation of an authorized person (artist). How could this be possible? It works! Conditionally. At this point just the assertion: art is a little more than just the establishing of events of encounters of circumstances, the encounters of actions; and finally as a consequence of the utterance: the encounters of protagonists.

* Eight ­line Poem is on the one side report, on the other side once again establishment of the interfering authority; it is a quasi ­ meta report. When, if not while writing a poem one is finding (dilletantish) the penetrance of the wish to pile in fact just confession on confession. Documents of the late romantic poet Bowie (8 Line Poem) and Brecht (in memory of…) provided guidance

Granted, a weak definition, but strongly interlaced after all. Weak word as well: encounter, as always and ever there are strong antagonisms of which we would need to report ­ in the best case those are preserved in the documents. This works as well: conditionally. Maybe we have to admit without any valuation that art is since ever: a weak form of world. Maybe we like it for this. The art. The world through the art. Is this enough? Discrepancy, I take a look again, from Latin dis ­ crepare, „crack apart“, „creak different“. Still: that which obstructed the view ­ leaves me breathless. Whereupon indeed: this kind of satisfaction is a betrayal as well. What remains is creaking. And no better human.

(…) Here suddenly emerges with unusual clarity a general reflection of different forms of work and production processes, which can also be found in the older photo series assembly line (2010). There, the formal clashes with the content: on the one hand, the individual photographs, hung in a row, combine to form a picture of the eponymous production line; on the other hand, contrary to their salient characteristic of reproducibility, the photographs are unique. The illusion of artistic sovereignty, the inadequacy of the (artist) subject and the contingency of artistic production are finally condensed in the two formally related sculptures Der Absatz and Der Schwimmer (both 2013). (…)

(…) In their self­deprecating and referential form ­ a wooden cube structure reminiscent of Sol LeWitt, combined with futuristic fanned wooden strips and a kind of Beuys’ shaman rod made of metal ­ they testify to the large, ultimately crossed by the lowlands of everyday life project, a universal, perfect sculpture create. To The Swimmer Stroj writes in the self­written press release: “The swimmer is the rest of an interruption of the attempt to summarize all (!) Previously developed sculptural languages: urgently was the toilet flushing the repair shop Berger to repair.” (…)
(Maximilian Geymüller in Frieze d / e NO.13 March­April 2014)

Fließband (Assembly Line) / 2010 / 18 C­Prints framed / 26,2 x 20,2 x 3 cm and Das Flusspferd, die Wolke (The Hippopotamus, the Cloud) / 2014 / ceramics, glazed / 40 x 28 x 6 cm / Show: Misha Stroj / 17.01.­ 08.03.2014 / Kerstin Engholm Galerie, Vienna

We like art! The process of producing works of art is actually an astonishing act of balancing between the louder and quieter voices involved ­ noisy decision­finding (one is choosing the majority, not always: Pick rain, not hail, not snow) ­ and after a really willfull abstinence and minimization, I can report: what can not be totally avoided, is such a position of an insistance that one might have a last word. Only conditionally. So just conditionally: a report. Therefore, we call for once an exhibition solely Misha Stroj and not The Setting Of The Romantic Sun and not Hippopotamus, The Cloud and not Diction, Not Disorder and not The Miracle Of Galata and not Got Lost In The Game. Oops, I Did It Again ­ that’s what we could still call it. Misha Stroj, Vienna, 16/01/2014

Categorised as Werke

Il Fanfarone

Dear Janina, dear Marlies, I am glad I am pleased to be part of the growing relationships of the Dinger, the fanfares will shine! Sounds promising, promises me to think ourselves the right place ­ if not know. best regards meanwhile, Misha

io non aumento piú (Versione Fanfarone) (I do not grow anymore (Version Loudmouth)) / 2012 / Artist’s belt, aluminium / 163,5 x 105 x 4 cm / Show: Pascal Schwaighofer ­ Misha Stroj / 30.03. ­ 26.05.2012 / ar/ge Kunst, Bolzano + Vienna Biennale 2017 / MAK, Vienna

Io non aumento piú (I do not grow anymore), was later called Il Fanfarone, which is a bit the guy with a mouth big like a Trompete. Productivity and growth are considered common commandments also of the artist’s working on their “thing”. Time for dissidence? For the first time, the belt (the same hole in the belt) that had been in use for years was given up as proof of stagnation (in Bolzano next to the photo of the bowling alley mentioned somewhere else, and the confession: last year I did not work at all. Remains to demonstrate how fantasized presence (not just of the body) becomes a fetish.

In dealing with our inventions, works, “self­expansions” or “substitutes” new fields of interaction open up. Not only in the museum context do the objects created by man act as parts of ever new networks in a world beyond their creators. The awareness that through our actions ­ not least through our work ­ we are in a reciprocal relationship with the things created by humans is the occasion to shed light on this topic in the MAK DESIGN LAB. Last but not least, the exhibition reflects on the curatorial work process itself, in which the astonishment about how the relationships between things grow constantly arises.(Janina Falkner, Marlies Wirth, approx traanslation)

Categorised as Werke

The Passenger

statue 112: the passenger / 2003 / wood, wire, papermaché, emulsion paint, varnish / 490 x 520 x 240 cm / Show: KONTEXT, FORM, TROJA / 18.09. ­ 16.11.2003 / Secession, Vienna

This monument is entirely due the promising context of its appearance. True to the exhibition’s title, one felt allowed to face the challenge of intrusion, celebration even (the Secession). (The result is only the seemingly obvious). The danger of overcoming threatens with an excess of referentiality. The question was obvious, whether references threaten to expire to bare information. Where else but in the Secession may one question the autonomy of the form, horribly large. Not overlooked is the completeness of the drama of the one who claims to be incomparable and ALL THAT! * You have material power. They possess this material power because of the self­activity of the people that grows them. Like magnets or the 13th feet in the fairy tale Sleeping Beauty, they unleash a willful activity that is the opposite of Pavlov’s reaction, vivid counterproduction, self­ achievement. If they arbitrarily do so, they are tearing something alive around, just as the wanton Achilles does with the murdered Hector he circles around the walls of Troy. That was meant by the hero cannibalistic. He wanted to assimilate the enemy in ways other than eating away. (Alexander Kluge 1985) * The presumably lyric?

statue 112: the passenger / 2003 / wood, wire, papermaché, emulsion paint, varnish / 490 x 520 x 240 cm / Show: KONTEXT, FORM, TROJA / 18.09. ­ 16.11.2003 / Secession, Vienna

Maybe what you are really asking, is whether meaning itself is an object.
Is our subjectivity linked to this object in such a manner that the
object (meaning itself) becomes meaningless if separated from subjectivity?
We have nothing if not for names. Memories are the architecture of our identities.
Being unique, being myself. I think it is sufficient to believe in ourselves, to be strong and kind.
You are a sum of all that you have felt and continue to feel.
We don’t think of owning thoughts the same way we own actions or emotions; the latter allows for the subject to determine the process of thinking
rather than the object of thought (in this case, the creation of meaning).
If we are to truly explore the nature of reason, there is no subject at all after a point.
You always know the answers to the questions in your head.
You just need to listen to yourself. Believe in yourself. You love and will be loved.
Is truth an unexplored and unachievable ideal –
something that can be thought of but can never be known?
Is there still a chance to act in this world?
What hope exists, if at all, individually

Categorised as Werke

Schrödinger’s Kitchen

Das wahrscheinlich letzte Foto das Schrödinger zeigt (The probably last Photo showing Schrödinger) / 2002 / photography / 15 x 10 cm / Show: was glänzt hat kein eigenes licht (what shines has no light on it’s own) / 04.07. ­ 03.08.2002 / Kerstin Engholm Galerie, Vienna

The following text as part of the work:
Schrödinger’s kitchen is the last vision of an aging scientist found after his disappearance. Obviously, he used the days left to put into practice his thoughts on the exhaustion of spaces (… the complete abolition of all life­relevant and thus deadly forces by means of their superimposition and disintegration.) In the kitchen of his apartment (that nothing more possibly can happen). He visualized his dream of the heavenly picture and experienced ­ as the found records can be seen ­ hardly to be suspected horror. You will probably see the last photo showing Schrödinger (original) as well as the experimental set­up found in the abandoned apartment, into which he turned the kitchen (an eternity). Schrödinger was no longer seen.
The comprehensive of this supposed find is the equipment with a fleeting personality, which remains unbelievable as an author. The function of each protagonist as an alibi will continue to occupy.

Schrödinger’s Küche (Schrödinger’s Kitchen) / 1959/2002 / wood, linoleum, newspaper, cardboard / 540 x 60 x 320 cm / Show: was glänzt hat kein eigenes licht (what shines has no light on it’s own) / 04.07. ­ 03.08.2002 / Kerstin Engholm Galerie, Vienna

A manifest of the game that the cruel optimist ife refuses to be. On the surface, this is an optical machine that invites tired people to lay their heads and choose a viewing direction. However, the history of this expression of a last vision suggests that exhaustion beyond fatigue (the axis anyway) remains imaginable. A room that closes around the head (blue table) and that narrows inwards, whose openings indicate logics of various dimensions. In the quantum world of the once real Schrödinger, an ambiguous place of residence is thinkable and imaginable. Undecayable whether exhaustion or more of cockiness for this attempt animated to get to such a place. Nothing from outside the kitchen can be found on the object. The authenticity of the story is proofed by newspapers found at the bottom of the rolled­up bottom funnel.

Categorised as Werke

As Bring Collective

As Bring Collective (Installation) / 2008 / Show: As Bring Collective / 21.03. ­ 08.04.2008 / Passagegalerie, Künstlerhaus Wien, Vienna

As Bring Collective works as a succinct statement to include the rhetoric of building community in, through, besides and with art production, signaling a spirit of (not yet fully cruel) optimism, which takes shape in the form of a group exhibition. A process is kicked off that subjects the format of exhibition to a revision in that each form is welcome, yet “integrally integrated” into one. Whether as a specific collection of creative passions or as a project produced for the specific site of the Passagengalerie, engulfing the room with encyclopedic presumptions. The reproduction of ourselves mimics the celebration of the artistic spring awakening. In As Bring Collective, an exhibition installation consists of a revitalization and maintenance of so­ called contacts, a network: everyone is invited to contribute as much as…necessary. A project that sees itself as an attitude of getting involved in a supposed public, and anticipates an imaginary morphology in the case of a communal uprising. So somehow the exhibition becomes an event, the installation remains performative.

Objects, pictures, sketches, texts, plans and songs became part of an installation, possibly utopian suggestions were implemented in the best possible way and thus the question of their exhibition value was…not posed. Orders and demands were accepted and executed by the initiator of As Bring Collective. A gesture of generosity that knows no lack of space, and forces of resuscitation, recreation of art follows. After a moment of great expansion, the experiment quickly shrank back into an assemblage of dismembered memories, to the spirit of exhibitions.

Der Regenbogen (The Rainbow) (with Rita Vitorelli) / 2008 / umbrella, wood, fabric / various sizes / Show: As Bring Collective, Künstlerhauspassage Vienna / 2008 + Primary Events, Austrian Cultural Forum 2017

We know that reassuring unpredictability marks good exchanges, that the vibrations of the things flowing into you are as incalculable as your subtle touches. Of course this contradicts a well­chosen question­ and­ answer game that seems overly regulated. However, this statement should not be confused with the state of trust and attention, which will finally allow us to adequately respond to each other. The light of those who are what they do not know, I read elsewhere. How to initiate a coordination of the multiplicity of emotions in an acceptable way that makes the inevitable share of violence in such coordination exercises bearable is the question of the form of this exercise. Whenever a movement of many forms, it remains only acceptable in a momentary glory of the same.

As Bring Collective (contrib. Katrin Plavcak) / 2008 / cardboard, watercolor / ap. 34 x dim.18 cm

From this follows the demand that the formation of a movement should always be accompanied by the knowledge of its future resolution. The movement founded by the gestures proposed in our exhibition should be provisionally called “how we are”, and, in defiance of its own name, declare the will to a euphoric self­assertion as an effective connecting element. This is the movement of spatial creation for the movement of each other, through insistence on the postponement of a desired integration. Less dissolving, this is not to be written down.

As Bring Collective, Version 2 (Installation) / 2008 / Various dimensions / Show: As Bring Collective / 21.03. ­ 08.04.2008 / Passagegalerie, Künstlerhaus Wien, Vienna

Categorised as Werke

el eco estruendoso de los proprios pasos

[2] Our collaborator, partners and lenders were: Juan Aguilera (wicker-artisan), Antonio Alarcón (student); Humberto Arcos (The Postman), Victor Atal Nasser (poster artist), Luis Canales (metalworker), Mrs. Maria Castro (domestic installations) ; Juan Patricio Garrido Carte (bulrush weaver), Hector Carreño (master welder), Juan Cayuqueo (student), Ricardo Cea and family (mannequins) Lorenzo Contreras (ceramist), Julio Cuevas (Folklorist, adobe donation), Hernan Diaz González (plumber-inventor); Domingo Duran (carpenter, wood-crafts), Pedro Escobar (cabinet maker), Georgina Escobar (seamstress specializing in embroidery), Ricardo Esquivel (ironworker master and lord of the birds), Ignacio Gumucio (painter) Carlos Gutierrez (blacksmith)

Mario Herrera Santibanez (glass artisan), Jose Miguel Huerta (construction and glass), Alexandro Lueiza (stained glass), Francoise Maurice (the mastermind on staircases); 

Ms. Margarita Ogaz (textile painting, Magallanes Senior Citizens Club), John Oyarce (tinsmith), Jose Parada (photography research), Yasmine Riveros Soto (student), Ms. Mary Raimilla (pihuio cerramics) and Maite Evelyn Bascur Valdés (seamstress) Batea Pehuenche (Private Collection of Rodrigo Berrios), Ricardo Cea, Claudio Matte, Bust, 2008 (Artists Collection), Carlos Ortúzar, Estante, 1958. (Private Collection of Pedro Escobar); Bird’s bath stone, (Private Collection of Ana María Saavedra and Luis Alarcón); Asphalt piece(Private Collection of José Parada).

Pa’ onde vamos (Wea do we go) / 2009 / acrylic on billboard / ap. 500 x 250 cm / Show: el eco estruendoso de los proprios pasos (The roaring Echo of the Steps of your Own) / 03.04. ­ 15.05.2009 / Galería Metropolitana, Santiago de Chile

(…) The intentional exposure to a foreign language can have a regressive effect ­ the return to a state of communicational incompetence ­ but it is also potentially productive: nothing is taken for granted. Given the awkwardness and naivete caused by the attempt to navigate the new words of the unknown language, Stroj takes the opportunity to go back to being a neophyte, extending his formula for (language) learning into a formula for (sculpture) production. This is not literal or metaphorical, but potentially practical. ” (María Berríos)

La masquera (The Masque) / 2009 / MDF, pieces of glass, string / Various dimensions

The roaring echo of the steps of your own is the title of a truly invigorating experience in a working­class neighborhood in Santiago de Chile. There, the Galería Metropolitana offers the opportunity to contribute to an environment quite unusual in the context of South American art world customs. Together with the sociologist, now curator, María Berríos, an intense experimental situation was created. The possible sculptural nature of any so called research work should be developed and explored. After historical lessons (see publication: El Cuaderno Verde) and a few trips across the country, the attention was completely focused on the inhabitants of the area around the exhibition site: the dear neighbours, all work was generated in exchange with them, or better: was made by them.

An unusual dynamic developed between the scientist, the (often) artisans of the neighborhood and the artist, who first became acquainted with the Spanish language. Thus the communication, the conversation, and finally the exchange about the production of things became the driving forces. The Cuaderno Verde became a kind of log book ­ an inexhaustible source of sculptural questions. We wanted to try a different kind of exhibition making, getting as close as possible to the way people make things. In doing so, we combined our often awkward language of sculpture with the mostly elegant language of various crafts. Nothing less than watching the making of the world seemed to happen to us.

Pa (Wea) / 2009 / metal, roof, gutter, wood, plastic, vulcan stone / Various dimensions / Show: el eco estruendoso de los proprios pasos (The roaring Echo of the Steps of your Own) / 03.04. ­ 15.05.2009 / Galería Metropolitana, Santiago de Chile

Individual works or their parts were developed with the help of various people in the neighborhood. Blurring and misunderstanding were often more helpful than precise guidelines. On the billboard outside the gallery, a quotation from the artist’s leitmotif was presented to the neighborhood. The book El Rio (by Alfredo Gómez Morel) reports on experiences on the margins of society ­ dialogues are written in a rather crude dialect, revealing the social layer: “Where are we going? We can not stay here.” The text was written by a professional (neighbour), illustrated with a figure balancing dear planet earth. Part of the “where” in this quote, the “pa” was placed in front of the gallery (next door pan / bread is made). On the roof of the word fragment gutters are attached, the water collected by one cools a volcanic stone outside, the harvest from the other leads to indoors, where a tub made from a single tree trunk (work of indigenous people from the collection of a participant) waits for the rainwater. And rain in the summer of Santiago is a rare event.

Miguelitos / 2009 / woodcarving / 17 x 2 x 0,2 + 17,5 x 0,8 x 0,4 cm / Show: el eco estruendoso de los proprios pasos (The roaring Echo of the Steps of your Own) / 03.04. ­ 15.05.2009 / Galería Metropolitana, Santiago de Chile

With 42 tasks we started in search of expressions, went to find the people who could contribute through existing interests and skills. Ultimately, enthusiasm of the person determines the task, or interests and skills prove to be a vast field So passionate amateurs as well as actually skilled craftsmen were made complicit. The desire and curiosity of spoken language helped to come closer. Whereby emphasizing the limits of any need to what they call policies of integration, kept each other’s lust for… ja, lust for whatever you may put here. Also, the urge to produce and produce was more or less consciously questioned.

El sendedor (The Lighter) / 2009 / ink in exercise book / 32 x 24 cm / Show: el eco estruendoso de los proprios pasos (The roaring Echo of the Steps of your Own) / 03.04. ­ 15.05.2009 / Galería Metropolitana, Santiago de Chile

A curtain of fire, to name one, was one of the visions. It was realized on three levels: the name in embroidered form, sculpturally, which in turn served as a pedestal for the moment of painting’s reinvention: after long planning of an actually burning in true flames variant, the installer’s safety concerns prevailed,­ he finally provided a curtain­like designed mechanism that only had to be completed by the painter with that what “pretends to be a fire”.

The overall installation was naturally dense, wildly proliferating and versatile. Last but not least, a painting of a locally established artist was discovered in the workshop of the neighboring carpenter (revealing the name of the painter ORTUZAR from behind). We were not alone.

el eco estruendoso de los proprios pasos (The roaring Echo of the Steps of your Own) / 2009 / Show: el eco estruendoso de los proprios pasos (The roaring Echo of the Steps of your Own) / 03.04. ­ 15.05.2009 / Galería Metropolitana, Santiago de Chile

Echolalia of an Echopraxia 

o That Bridge That Is a Window

María Berríos

We wanted to rid ourselves of the classical ambitions of exhibitions making through inventing a way of approaching the strange language of sculpture. Although, perhaps, we simply wanted an excuse for getting closer to the way people make things. El eco estruendoso de los propios pasos (The thunderous echo of your own steps) was an effort to understand the clumsy but efficient language of sculpture, while at the same time comprehend the elegant language of craft. In sum, it was a way of observing how people manufacture their world.

El eco estruendoso de los propios pasos was an experiment in sculpture as research in the provisional format of an art exhibition.It consisted in the materialization, in the Galería Metropolitana space, of the lessons learned (from January to April 2009) in a series of inquiries on the sculptureness of research.The investigation that led to the exhibition was a joint venture by artist Misha Stroj, specialized in identifying and producing sculptural phenomena (Director of the Art Department of “El Eco …”) and the author of the present text, a sociologist, in charge of the fieldwork aimed at provoking the collision of shared sculptural knowledge (Director of the Scientific Department of “El Eco ….”) 

After an intense but relatively brief journey of the physical,literary and visual, territory of Chile, we sought to develop a working method that would make possible desired encounters (while immediately admitting and taking advantage of all the obvious misunderstandings). Encounters between the artist passing by this remote terrain, the sociologist interested in exploring a qualitative-concretista methodology, and the neighbors-producers of the Pedro Aguirre Cerda (PAC) sector, home of our hosts at Galería Metropolitana.

The initial plot of the exhibition was developed in a green notebook prepared by the art department from materials collected in the research process .The field notes were sorted into the notebook through a formulation of forty chapters, a void and an alternative ending, each corresponding to a specific sculptural problem [1] .

Early on we recognized the need for the neighbors help as experts and creators of the existing systems of production being used in the PAC area.For this the plot of the exhibition was translated into a precise list of practical problems to be solved (…)

In our joint search for solutions to these 40 +2 problems ,we proceeded to visit the workshops of people making things nearby the Gallery (bulrush weavers, a stained glass master, tinkers, a plumber-inventor, a carpenter fond of masks, a wicker-basket maker, embroiderers, seamstresses, a pottery studio, a photographer, a master of glass miniatures , cabinet makers, a family run plaster mannequin factory, the mailman, Francois Maurice -whose name says it all- and many equally important others). So we came to know the many colleagues whose collaboration would be the foundation and productive base for the sculpture show to be assembled by the art department in the gallery space [2] .The people we visited and their works were responsible for the material that made up the collective show (disguised as a solo exhibition by an artist named Misha Stroj [3] ).Although the activation of sculpture did no take place in the fantasy of the exhibition installation in itself, but emerged in the materiality of the events of exchange where through our semi-handicapped words [4] we tried to mobilize the sculptural knowledge of others.

Our goals were, we agree, openly naive and outlandish: we wanted to create significant encounters based on the language of practice. The scale (semi-industrial, craft, literal, domestic or poetic) was not of importance;the sculptureness of research lay in our sneaking onto the privileged pedestal of sharing the language of making things (gutters, golf-pants for artists, stairs, curtains of fire, bird baths, matches …). This not so much in order to adapt to this more and less foreign context, but rather to articulate the desire of turning it into a more familiar place. We wanted to create tools that would allow us to discretely get close to those new places (… a small roof, a store sign, a stick collection, a golden crown, a horse’s tail, and so on). 

[1] See: Misha Stroj, Cuaderno verde, ediciones vaticanochico-Ocho Libros, Santiago, 2010.

[3] This format did not fool the neighbors who while visiting the exhibition pointed out: “these are made by the Cea family”,”this is Domingo’s”,”those are my pieces of broken glass” and even one or two who retrieved their borrowed objects when needed (as was the case of the carpenter molds kindly lent to us by don Pedro).

[4] With this we are pointing at “the efficiency of clumsiness as language.”Which at the time we tried to explain as follows: “The artist talks about, and assists in the production of various objects, creating relationships based on mutual provocation and movement of curiosity. The intentional exposure to a foreign language can have a regressive effect -the return to a state of communicational incompetence- but it is also potentially productive: nothing is taken for granted thus intensifying the relationship with the language of things. Given the awkwardness and naivete caused by the attempt to navigate the new words of the unknown language, Stroj takes the opportunity to go back to being a neophyte, extending his formula for (language) learning into a formula for (sculpture) production. This with the aim of articulating a language, that is not literal or metaphorical, but potentially practical.

Categorised as Werke