Critics’ Picks

Accumulator, 2004. Installation view.


Sonja Vordermaier

Halle K3
Jarrestrasse 20
June 2–June 20

K3 is the perfect location for Sonja Vordermaier’s extensive installation. The imposing, almost threatening dimensions of the large industrial space amplify the palpable tension created by the artist’s constructions, most of which would encompass an ordinary-sized room. Vordermaier (born in 1973 and based in Hamburg and Zurich) skillfully exploits her unusual, often recycled materials, setting up situations in which they alternately cooperate and conflict. One of the works here appears at first to be a multitude of black ropes that, spreading outwards from a single point, pass through most of the space. However, on closer inspection this obscure contrivance proves to be a dangerous, tautly strung catapult made from reused bicycle tubes—a real “hot seat,” poised to release its pent-up energy. Vordermaier also uses thousands of old CD-ROMs to create wall-filling, wildly proliferating sculptures that resemble vegetal forms, or perhaps mussel beds. Here, as elsewhere, she demonstrates the shimmering ambiguities inherent in the physical properties of her materials.

Translated from German by Emily Speers Mears.