Hooy Kaye Museum

Arduinkaai 20 Quai aux Pierres de Taille
B-1000 Brussels

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artist / participant

press release

The works in this exhibition are of two quite distinct, and at first glance separate, types. One is an array of solid brass rolls, which have been turned upon a lathe, and which are apparently entirely abstract in character. The second is a collection of small heads, modelled in various materials, each of which represents an imaginary male of advanced years. Despite their obvious differences these two groups of works are both concerned with many of the same issues, including correspondence and similarity. It might also be said that both are ultimately concerned with the notion of difference itself; with the difference between the two groups, certainly, but also with the many differences between the individual elements of each group. These are differences which the notion of the group, and the arrangement into a group, itself makes clear. The work as a whole is particularly concerned with the play of the unique and autonomous individual art object within a group of which it may form a single part and the familiarity in form and significance that these individual objects may have with others of their own group. This relationship, operating as it does between an individual work and a group of individual works, is understood to be a vital element in the poetics of Sauer's work. It is the poetics of the individual's relationship to the group and the group's own relationship to the individual.

In both collections of works the profile plays a leading role, both in the production of the work itself and in the reading of the work by the audience. However, both groups of works also set in motion a play of qualities which might be more usually associated with three-dimensional form, rather than with that implied by the notion of the profile. This might include size and weight and carefully, and precisely, chosen proportion. In addition they also, as a consequence of their form, raise the enigmatic question of their possible function. The materiality of the objects and their surface qualities act together to create, in the same moment, a sense of scale, meaning, time and work and thus to the man-made objects which surround us.

In the complexities and the ramifications of an appropriately conceived series such as these analogous passages of individual memory and association are given the opportunity, and the space, to grow. The shift between abstraction and figuration within the work aims at the possibilities of visually connecting historical, technical and personal insights and points of view.

The numerous variations within a group give rise to many consequences. Amongst these we might note the rejection of any recourse to monumentality within the group system. Such a rejection, and the absence of monumentality it then generates, draws the viewer's attention towards the interior spaces of our thought structures, to the sense of the private, but the private in the face of the multiplicity of the public world. Spaces such as these might be compared to that of the archive and to an archivist's view of the world and the life of the things which fill it. This particular worldview is considered here to be of an exemplary type, not least for its coherence, and one which is capable of opening-up the space of thought, the space of an idea, for us.

Owen Griffith Pressetext

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Michel Sauer