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The Wavering Stage
Alwin Lay, Lorelinde Verhees

curated by Lisa Bensel
Q18, Quartier am Hafen, Cologne
13.06.2014 - 11.07.2014

exhibition, poster, conversation

The Wavering Stage is the title of a duo-exhibition of Alwin Lay and Lorelinde Verhees at Q18, curated by Lisa Bensel.

My contribution consisted of a 'wall' of natural silk with a painted grid form, and a minimal, bent wooden sculpture, partly resting on a rope construction tied to the ceiling.

Being influenced by the Brechtian notion of the 'epic theatre', I wanted to create attention to the context of the space, without disturbing an image to arise at the same time. The works appear as an image in the space, with a front- and a background, while also pointing to the space itself as a stage; a distinct space where all that appears is affected by its character.

The wood sculpture is inspired by the minimal plank sculptures of John McCracken; a flat, sculptural form, standing on the ground and leaning against the wall, bridging the sites of painting and sculpture. McCracken's planks have a finish of bright colored laquer that reflect its surroundings. My sculpture is made of unfinished poplar. It has a bent top, stands on the ground and leans on a rope I borrowed from Lisa, tied to the ceiling. We used the rope for transportation, to carry wood from the hardware store to the exhibition space.

The silk work serves as a backdrop to the sculpture, and as a work in itself. I used the form of the grid, hand painted with blue dye on the silk. The silk work moved lightly on the airstreams of visitors walking past it.

In her text 'Grids' (1979, October) Rosalind Krauss writes, that the grid (stemming from both sientific and symbolist origins) has a way of including and excluding; including itself in the world, as a small particle in a bigger whole, and excluding- the artwork from the world as an exclusively visual form, turned in to itself. I found this an interesting paradox, that links to a question for the meaning of autonomy and engagement in the arts, and the forms and materials it can inhabit.

Alwin, Lisa and me made a poster together, consisting of several 'Elfchen', a traditional German poetic form, my drawings on newspapers and inspirational image material.

photo's Q18, Alessandro De Matteis, Houtan Nourian