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Michael Sailstorfer TRAENEN

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

Berlin-based artist Michael Sailstorfer presents 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.

In Traenen, the artist gently assuages our visions of industry and change with wrecking ball tear drops. As the thunderous echo from the Doo’cot and Brenner emits its smoke upwards and into the sky, the “raindrops” in Traenen deliver a multitude of destructive blows onto an unassuming house below. As the video begins, what appear to be exaggerated, cartoon-ish raindrops quickly make themselves known as very real, and very heavy, custom-fabricated wrecking balls. Three “drops” fall in succession, gradually obliterating the roof and chimney. The outer and inner walls come next, following an orderly system until the house stands in a ruinous heap. At this point we have a sense of satisfying conclusion, albeit one that comes from seeing a somewhat callous job completed. Visually, the removal of the wires attached to the wrecking balls in post-production editing imparts a sense of wonder or spectacle to the entire video. It’s a simple, technical act, but one that offers many rewards for the viewer, as it has the ability to keep this video in the realm of the fairy tale rather than that of practical or pragmatic, linear sequence.


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.