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Michael Sailstorfer Brenner

Michael Sailstorfer: Brenner 06/05/2017 - 01/10/2017

Berlin-based artist Michael Sailstorfer presented three installation at Jupiter Artland Foundation. Brenner (2017), a new, large-scale sculptural installation in The Steadings Gallery, the video Traenen (2015) in The Doocot and 1:43-47 (2012) in the Ballroom Gallery. In a characteristic manner, Sailstorfer’s work presented at Jupiter demonstrates his unique understanding of the vocabulary of sculpture, formalising and transforming known materials or mechanical systems into objects that readily and thoughtfully transcend their original purpose. At once solemn and darkly humorous, these works are imbued with a captivating tension, hinting at notions of destruction, transformation, and change.

Native American’s used smoke signals to indicate their position over a long distance and is one of the oldest forms of long-distance communication. These forms of communication are consistent in Michael’s body of work where sound and smell are present before we engage with his sculpture and installation. As you approach the steadings courtyard plumes of smoke ascend from chimneys installed in the gallery roof eluding to notions of industry fueled by the giant woodpile stacked outside. You can detect the faint smell of burning wood and feel an increased sense of radiated heat. As you enter the gallery, you are confronted with three cars as if laid out on a production line, incomplete for their final purpose.

More specifically, what is present is the outer, painted body panels and internal framework structures of production automobiles, as if they were pulled directly from the factory floor before completion. Embedded within each body configuration is a wood burning stove, located where the engine would normally be placed, with a chimney emanating from each at various angles to one another. Each car follows in line to the next, as if the assembly line has been re-envisioned for this space. Arguably, inherent in the form of an automobile is a sense of motion or action (and often freedom), yet these cars are resolutely stationary—burning their fuel, creating a different type of energy, and expelling their spent gasses upwards through their chimneys. In an instant, a moving, functioning assembly line becomes a traffic jam—seemingly all roads are blocked, there is no way out, and it is distinctly possible that we could overheat. Sailstorfer provides many inroads into the analysis and interpretation of this ambitious installation.


Michael Sailstorfer was born in Velden, Germany, in 1979. He currently lives and works in Berlin. From 1999 until 2005, he studied at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste in Munich, and received his MA in Fine Arts from Goldsmiths College, London in 2004. His work has been displayed in numerous solo and group exhibitions throughout the world, including Michael Sailstorfer. Silver Cloud, Studio Michael Sailstorfer, Berlin; It might as well be spring, Rochester Art Center, Rochester, Minn.; B-Seite, Haus am Waldsee, Berlin; Every piece is a new problem, CAC Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati; Forst, Vattenfall Contemporary, Berlinische Galerie, Berlin; Tornado, Public Art Fund New York, Doris C. Freedman Plaza, Central Park, New York City; Raum und Zeit, S.M.A.K. Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst, Ghent; Forst, Kestnergesellschaft, Hannover; 10 000 Steine, Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt/Main; Und sie bewegt sich doch!, Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus, Munich.