We are pleased to show new works by Michael Sailstorfer in the second solo exhibition of the artist at the gallery.
Michael Sailstorfer (*1979, Velden, Germany, lives and works in Berlin) reflects in his artistic practice on the fact that the fragile balance of our contemporary society – our social, political, ecological and cultural environment characterized by the finiteness of available resources – is subject to the constant threat of depleted energy sources. Both in a metaphorical and literal sense: Sailstorfer detaches various elements of the empirical world from the context of our everyday experience and presents them in formally precise sculptures as semantically redefined objects that question the principles of our contemporary culture. Driven by a fascination with biological and mechanical processes, Sailstorfer detaches natural, industrially produced, or found materials from their original context and transforms them into aesthetic settings that expand familiar questions about form and the nature of sculpture to include social, political, and economic aspects.
The twenty bronze sculptures C Batterie 1 – 20, 2023, are the centerpiece of the exhibition Batterie at Livie Gallery on Claridenstrasse 34 in Zurich. Cast in bronze, they show a light bulb with its socket, connected to a lemon and subsequently overgrown by a bee colony with a honeycomb structure. Joseph Beuys’ Capri Batterie, created in 1985 during a healing stay by the shaman on Capri and in Naples, is the obvious reference for Sailstorfer’s experimental arrangement. Sailstorfer has cast the multiple of Beuys – the circuit between lemon and light bulb, which is stored in a wooden box measuring 28 x 28 x 28 cm with the inscription “Joseph Beuys, Capri Batterie, replace after 1000 hours” – and made 20 duplicates out of beeswax. These forms were placed by a beekeeper into hives in spring 2022 to allow the colonies to continue working on them. After 3 to 4 months – at the end of a summer – the structures were removed from the hives and cast in bronze. The work of the bees was thus manifested or inscribed into a specific form for an indefinite future.
Read the full version of the exhibition by Lorenz Wiederkehr here.