Katinka Bock at the IAC of Villeurbanne
After the MUDAM in Luxembourg and the Kunst Museum Winterthur in Switzerland, Katinka Bock moves to Villeurbanne at the Contemporary Art Institute, long-time supporter of her sculptural approach, and opens with “Radio / Tomorrow’s Sculpture” the third and last chapter of a series of European exhibitions. After the two first phases of the cycle, entitled “Smog” and “Sonar”, the artist now explores through “Radio” the notion of invisible and moving flows by transforming the materials she uses and the spaces she occupies.
The exhibition presents existing works, but also specific projects, born of the exploration of physical and material conditions offered by the IAC, works in progress, in motion, reactivated depending on the horizontality of this new site.
Her approach talks about the body, the organic matter, and addresses the body of the visitor. It is supported by physicality and offers to see, to guess and to feel the sensitive gesture of the artist at work. The material, rolled, bent, often invokes the folds of the body, the hidden recesses, spaces of experiences and of memories, sometime concealed. The approach is not inwardly; on the contrary, it is outward, towards the outdoors, beyond the walls and the doors of the IAC, which have been voluntarily left open.
It deals with the softening and the weakening of the flesh, malleability, through artworks that almost make this body visible, palpable, and through the artist’s gesture, which appears in the shapes she creates.
Katinka Bock plays with absence and presence, prints and traces: the sheets of raw clay on which the visitors attending the opening walked are expected to be displayed starting in January.
Other sensitive witnesses: the discreet black and white photographs that punctuate the spaces and reveal fragments of the artist’s body.
The passing of time, too, creates drawings, traces, on different materials gathered here: heavy cylinders, fabric, or copper plates, some exposed to the power of water, in the sea or a river, and others to the burning caress of light, on the roofs of another museum.
Nature is here, evoked, greeted, and integrated in a long creative process of works that allow different places and temporalities to interact. Days follow each other and the fifty cubes of “Calendar” move around the first exhibition room, one by one.
Katinka Bock interlocks the outside and the inside and does not hesitate to open spaces usually forbidden to the public. She lets the copper pipes of a radiator wander through administrative offices. Their heat intentionally adjoins zones exposed to the outside cold. The flow of air echoes that of the visitor’s, free to gaze around and to create new landscapes made of materials, placed here, in equilibrium.
For here the artist plays with gravity, forces, tensions. A delicate shape, clasped by metallic ribbons that dig into the surface, a volume (welcoming, menacing?) suspended in the doorframe.
In a skillful play of weights and seemingly precarious balance, nothing seems fixed. Everything is likely to change again, with time, or maybe with a light trickle of rainwater, brought in from the exterior gutter.
Transparency, evaporation, subtle evocation of presences, of elements of nature, such as these bronze and ash cacti that defy the laws of gravity, such as the bark of plane trees that cut out the space and create a new skyline.
I appreciated the embrace of movement, in sensitive spaces that encourage the search for other forms of bodies, this time through dancing. These were made possible by “Postures à l’œuvre”, a “visite expérience” regularly offered by choreographer Marie-Zénobie Harlay. Yes, I finally was able to dance there!
In the middle of such evocative rooms, embracing the imagination of the forces that designed and built them.
Shapes of bodies, this time breathing ones, present, outstretched, crouched, penetrated, placed there.
In the silence.
Katinka Bock, Radio / Tomorrow’s sculpture
Through January 20th, 2019
IAC – Institut d’art contemporain, Villeurbanne, France
Wednesday to Friday from 2pm to 6pm, weekends from 1pm to 7pm. €6