Gallery Openings—15 Sep 2023, 6 to 9 PM
Bettina Pousttchi’s multifaceted oeuvre, which includes sculpture, photography, installation and site-specific façade works, has been expanded in recent years by the series titled Vertical Highways. The artist developed these anthropomorphic looking, dance-like sculptures formed from crash barriers as part of her exploration of physical objects that control, regulate and order public space.
The exhibition In Transit now open at the Buchmann Galerie presents new works that expand and complement the formal language of the Vertical Highways series. The Progressions series works sculpturally with the phenomenon of sequence and its direct associations with movement and time. The distorted crash barriers, arranged in ascending order, thereby set in motion a dialogue between the ascending elements and the rhythmic-serial character of the sequence.
Often going unnoticed, the artist brings the crowd barriers, bollards, bike racks and crash barriers back into focus and perception through her sculptures, thereby raising the question of the societal interplay between control and freedom, so central to civil society.
The artist creates the sculptures using an elaborate process in which she deforms the industrial prefabricated parts of the crash barriers being used under high pressure, erects them vertically, and then assembles them into new figurations before applying colour. The vertical orientation of the crash barriers, in subverting their normal horizontal use, breaks with their usual spatial arrangement and provides the sculptures with an architectural reference. The sequential use of the source material both ties in with the concepts of Minimal art and demonstrates their connection to Marcel Duchamp’s Readymades.
The street objects the artist employs in her sculptures, such as crowd barriers, bollards, bike racks and crash barriers, are typically used to structure public space and regulate the possibilities of movement in it. Yet, often going unnoticed, the artist brings these objects back into focus and perception through her sculptures, thereby raising the question of the societal interplay between control and freedom, so central to civil society.