For his exhibition at the Künstlerhaus, Halle für Kunst & Medien, the architect and artist E.d Gfrerer (*1958 in Paternion, Austria; lives in Graz) always begins with the specific space when he engages in his investigations of space—meaning, that he himself is active on site. Weeks before the opening, he first sets up a kind of studio for himself inside the building. Here, he observes the fixtures and displays from past exhibitions and then does some sketches to test possible ways of approaching his own show, ultimately intervening by expanding or condensing intermediate spaces. In the process he primarily relies upon the additions to the exhibition architecture already in the building, such as plasterboard walls and stage risers, which he uses to develop fragile, temporary structures and loosely sculptural shapes. Without doing any drilling, he mounts these items so that they make visitors think of the space differently. By working meticulously with what is at hand, his re-constructions of space and open way of dealing with the spatial axes allows the artist to question the often traditional understanding of how to use resources. Here, Gfrerer challenges visitors to become more sensitive to their immediate surroundings and the ways that they are used, while at the same time exposing fundamental, original characteristics of the architecture.
In his installative approach to the building’s architecture, its orientation, and its relation to its environment, he operates in close conceptual relation to the term “index,” which the art historian Rosalind Krauss defined as follows for sculptural interventions at the intersection of art and architecture: “The traces, the prints, the indices, each one with a physical cause, are witnesses to this cause, which is no longer present in the remaining signs.”
On a table of sketches set up in a side wing of the show, the construction plans document the number and dimensions of the interventions, making it clear that Gfrerer wants to show the material he uses in motion, in the state of flow reflecting their potential applications. It’s only for the limited time of the show that these can be presented and observed in an inactive state.
No particular technology consistently dominates Gfrerer’s artistic practice, and no visual signs make his work immediately recognizable as his. Nevertheless, all of his works have one thing in common: they always begin with the given circumstances. Here, the artist isn’t interested in inventing new worlds; he’s not making any new, self-contained works of art as such. Rather, his works are more like open-ended systems, which, in turn, open up more potential connections in diverse spheres of reality. Gfrerer begins with everyday objects, situations, and simple, concentrated perceptions; his artist’s eye selects them as the starting point for producing new works and interventions. In the process he trusts to the logic of the spatial and social contexts out of which he develops constellations that create a flexible, open, and dynamic relationship among the given circumstances, his artistic intervention, and viewers. Gfrerer has designed an artist’s edition to accompany the process of creating the exhibition.
"Außenposten/Baustelle Europa/unt(d)erstand", Graz (2015)
"Haltestelle in der Wüste, Prostor I – raum UND", Sarajevo (2014)
"The artists are present", < rotor >, Graz (2014)
"Landscape", Galerie Rhizom, Graz (2013)
"Delta-Laboratorium für Immunologie/Sektor 1", Bucharest (2013)
"Transchriften", Verein Introspection, Joanneum, Graz (2012)
"Wiederherstellung – ans Licht gebracht", Kulturhauptstadt Maribor, Maribor (2012)
"Im Westen Nichts Neues – Zwischennordsüd", Basilika Mariazell, Mariazell (2011)
"Kunstpiloten, Verein Introspektion", Graz (2010)
"Continental Drift", Tiflis (2010)
"Parabol", Forum Stadtpark, Graz (2009)