STEFAN RINCK

In the beginning. There was a block of stone.

  Even with it's plains sawn six in number, and with its relations of measurements the block encloses an idea of the potential that might lie within. As soon as an inch is missing, doubts sneak up, whether or not this portion of stone is suitable for my plan. Ultimately I want to reveal the figure, ...which is hidden in the block. Wherever it gets tight, wherever it narrows, there comes a twisting and a pressing until the originating creature merges from the condition of squeezing cramped into the eternal block to the condition of existing for the first time fresh in the world. In this phase of the sculpture's birth from the mother block, the material feels hard. It opposes and defies me. My work becomes a battle of steel against stone until the figure, already determined by it's rough shape emerges. From agony to ecstasy the stone gives in and this block-imprisoned being is freed. It is allowed a refocused refinement of gaze, to ponder and mimic and posture without resistance.

  Symmetry in sculpture means pathos, because every deviation from symmetry implies movement. If I want to apply pathos to a character, care is taken that its frontal symmetry is obvious. Pathos is expressed through formal representation, and content is charged with pathos.

Mythical outsiders and underworld characters, these are wretched anti-heroes and monsters, who have appeared only marginally in art history - and are now provided with pathos. They become adorable idols, satisfied with being enslaved during the Romanesque and Gothic architecture: condemned to carry whole buildings spewing water as gargoyles. Kept from their role and from their function, they arrive in the present uncaged. Classical ranking and common hierarchies of valuable motifs, in which man is center of the universe and everything else has to subserve, invert. In my constellation of meaning man appears on the fringes: anxious, as a snack for monsters or as a defendant, condemned, as booty or approved for execution.

  Many of the sculptures could serve as idols or totems. Yet some of the sculptures are frozen in a movement . For them, I dismiss frontal symmetry and turn to the profile. Looking at the old stone reliefs of lion hunts by the Sumerian, it becomes obvious, that the players must be shown in profile.
I have used the same principle in three-dimensional works, which are dynamic in an archaic way.

  Arranged in groups, the figures grow out of their independent existence. Relations of power structures are formed across space. These scenes seem hermetic, the figures don't direct their dialogue to the exterior - similarly, in theatre, one talks about acting with the fourth wall : one pretends that there is no audience, and looking from the outside, these scenes remind me of toy arrangements I constructed as a kid; but today I would build constellations as a disillusioned child, whose weird games reflect the deceit and phoniness and shadiness of this world. Yet, I often add one figure, which does turn towards the approaching audience: with inviting or warning gesture it breaks through the fourth wall and creates contact with the outside world. Usually the jester does this in a play by Shakespeare.

  I play with implied stories, I freeze the snap shot, and it leaves the future course of events to the fantasy of the viewer. At this point, I also step back and see the work from the perspective of the viewer - Space becomes a transparent cube. A cube that is defined by dimensions and the orientation of the sculptures. Sculptures who don't deny their origin.

In the beginning there was a block of stone. And it's still there.

 

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