Idyl In An Electronics Factory

curated by Matthias Ulrich

Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt

Nov 16 – Feb 3, 2019

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Maria Loboda’s sculptures and installations are mysterious and full of secrets; their encoded messages reveal themselves only at second glance. The artist uses her three-dimensional works to transfer past knowledge into the here and now.
Idyl In An Electronics Factory includes three works by Maria Loboda which she has developed specially for the freely accessible Rotunda. Taken together they tell a story that refers to the pioneering American landscape architect James C. Rose (1913–1991).

The central installation in the exterior space of the Rotunda bears the title Tout terriblement: it consists of two parallel hedges of Portuguese laurel that rise up to the first floor of the Rotunda, blocking the way through and transforming the space into a labyrinth. There are four, seemingly organic concrete sculptures inside and between the hedges that create the abstracted form of theletter “R.” The hedges are in tubs, also made of concrete, which the artist has adorned in various places with incised letters. Together they render the expression Tout te**iblement, made popular by the fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent (1936–2008), in turn citing a calligram by the French poet Guillaume Apollinaire (1880–1918).

With the exhibition title Idyl In An Electronics Factory, Loboda makes direct reference to a review with the same title published in 1963 in the American design magazine Interiors. It addresses the interior courtyard of a company for electronic components in Livingstone, New Jersey, designed by James C. Rose. He saw the movement and transformation of the landscape as essential features of landscape architecture. Rose included the relationships between all of the materials that occur in landscape architecture—such as, for example, the constantly changing plants as well as the static sculptures, but also the people who linger in and move through the designed landscape.

There is a large-format canvas in the Rotunda gallery on the first floor on which Maria Loboda has reproduced the cover of that issue of the magazine Interiors. The painting Grand Interiors features a colored sketch of a bistro table with two chairs in front of a spiral staircase. Its dimensions cause the picture to look strangely hemmed in and noticeably out of proportion in the passageway, as if it has become jammed there. The Rotunda gallery also displays the lettering Note the lizard on the circuit on the wall, which challenges visitors to set out in search of a stuffed gecko that has also been placed in the Rotunda.


Courtesy of Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt, 2018
Photos by Marc Krause

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