Goldsmiths Curatorial Critique

Andreas Golder – “Surgite mortui venite ad Judicium”

Posted in Reviews by matteopollini on March 20, 2009

Courtesy of the artist and White Cube Gallery

Being in the same small room with Andreas Golder’s works is not an easy experience: paintings of unknown revolting creatures occupy the three dark-gray walls of the exhibition, and unconsciously – for a fraction of a second – the heart skips a beat as the space between the viewer and the works becomes pitchy and difficult to cross. This sensation is assisted by the sculpture positioned in the very middle of the space (Memorial to the last guest, 2008), which intervene as an emitter of the sense of discomfort that almost wafts in the room. The fiberglass sculpture – in fact – is unfortunately very well rendered, allowing the viewer to admire all its abhorrent traits: a long neck supports the heavy skull “accessorized” with a dangling eye-ball, the internal organs seem to have been pulled out and exposed outside of the body – reducing the bones to a mere support rather than functioning as a protective shield – blood and fluids shed on the ground as the possible result of having the sculpture being thrown up by the surrounding paintings.

All the gore and repulsion, however, is soon to be forgotten as the viewer slowly realize that the sculpture he/she is looking at is simply a human being whose features have been re-organized and re-scaled. The creature is not one of us, it is rather all of us: it is both female and male, young and old, dead and alive. It is also virtually situated in a X moment – where “X” is to be understood as a cross, an intersection – in which all of these dualities become possible and tangible. Similarly, the paintings surrounding the sculpture depict the same type of figure in situations that clearly evoke biblical allusions as in Zetigeist, in which one the skeletons genuflects as if at the base of the Crucifixion, or in Economy, a large scale painting in which the Last Supper is evoked perpetuating and finally ratifying the close connection these “living corpses” share with the world that we inhabit.

As difficult as this exhibition is to experience and enjoy – due to the unusual fabric Golder has decided to dress his works with – the intention of the artist seems to be utterly positive and optimistic, for here the so called unknown finds a dimension to inhabit, specifically in what is shared between all the human beings: flesh, blood and bones.

Matteo Pollini

Andreas Golder
Surgite mortui venite ad Judicium
White Cube, Hoxton Square – London
16 Jan. – 21 Feb. 2009

http://www.whitecube.com/exhibitions/andreas_golder/

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