Mark Manders

Galerie Erika & Otto Friedrich

In Mark Manders’ recent show clay torsos and pieces resembling parts of humans and animals lay in rows on the ground like finds from an archeological dig. They conjured up a strange array of images: crab shells, petrified embryos, deformed bodily organs, puppets. Manders arranged these fragments in rows according to similarities in their appearance, as though following some long-forgotten ordering system. These “bodies,” which sometimes have a dull luster, seem to express themselves through a vulnerable outer skin. One is tempted to touch them, even though many are very fragile—several “limbs” are bound to the small, slightly gnomelike torsos with only thread or adhesive tape. The viewer felt like an intruder in an intimate, almost sacred space, but at the same time felt an urge to superimpose his own ordering system on the fragments, perhaps because they brought to mind children’s toys

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