press release

Wilkinson is pleased to announce the first UK solo show by Austrian sculptor and video artist Fabian Seiz.

The fragility and possibility of materials, and their interaction with space provide a pervading tension within Seiz’s practice. Constructing baffling objects to resemble clever, functioning machines, his constructions nonetheless remain purposeless. They exist on the fuzzy border between object and sculpture, playing with the viewer’s sense of perception and physicality and notions of cause and consequence. Seiz’s practice however is not just one of a sculptor / installation artist. The constructions he creates are often further referenced within corresponding video works.

For Wilkinson, Seiz presents I could hit the ceiling (2008), a video installation, in which it appears that a man is attempting to climb a set of stairs, built by the artist and also displayed. On reaching each next step however, the actor fails in his attempt at ascent, as the entire staircase "sinks". In the end the actor is left flailing at a constant level, regardless of the effort put into the climb. Whilst the situation seems a joke on the unfortunate man, it is he rather than the viewer, who has the last laugh, for the film’s apparent action is just a trick. In reality he is walking slowly backwards down the stairs, yet the video is speeded-up and itself reversed, ensuring the man is walking at a normal pace, forwards.

The character is presented as a man doomed to failure in his efforts, and the physicality of this is reminiscent of the physical comedies of earlier cinema. I could hit the ceiling seeks to garner the same innocent wonder that early audiences had for these initial cinematic outings, while simultaneously bursting that bubble by presenting the stairs and camera stand used in the films production as sculptural objects.

These sculptural objects are in fact, despite their appearance, not from the original set. They are rebuilds of the originals made to a different scale for this show, a jest that even in the explanation, the whole truth is not quite being presented.

Fabian Seiz
I Could Hit the Ceiling