Critics’ Picks

Sonia Leimer, Ohne Titel (Asphalt) (Untitled [Asphalt]), 2015, asphalt, dimensions variable.

Sonia Leimer, Ohne Titel (Asphalt) (Untitled [Asphalt]), 2015, asphalt, dimensions variable.


Sonia Leimer

TAXISPALAIS Kunsthalle Tirol
Maria-Theresien-Straße 45
March 4–June 11, 2017

When visitors step onto the white performance floor that Sonia Leimer has installed in “Autoterritorium”—a piece that extends via slender pathways right up to the walls, adding a second floor to the exhibition space—not only is their own tread softened (the material gives way under the pressure of bodies), but they also inevitably become a component of the show. Indeed, they complete the exhibition. One could characterize the other objects on view also as performative sculptures. Eroberung des Nutzlosen (Conquest of the Useless), 2016, is made up of movable stainless-steel parts based on objects used during 1950s experiments with apes. Here, a group of performers moves the big, unwieldy geometric pieces according to a choreography across the space.

With further works such as Ohne Titel (Asphalt) (Untitled [Asphalt]), a walkable floor sculpture created with ready-mades of found street fragments, and the seat sculptures based on historical materials in the installation Iwanowo, both 2015, the artist poses abstract questions concerning the human capacity for action: How do we handle restrictions to our freedom of movement? How do we use the potential that both proverbially and literally lies right in front of us on the floor? How do we become conscious of our own movement and how can we use this consciousness in order to move again—in order, even, to resist? “Autoterritorium” is a thoroughly political show that neither can nor will hide its poetic side.

Translated from German by Diana Reese.