Daniel von Sturmer

Karsten Schubert

On the smooth, gridded surface of a black plastic cutting mat, a tiny drama unfolds. A slender prod, coated in some kind of putty and manipulated by an unseen hand, shoves a little gray ball into the center of the frame. This accomplished, the tool moves offscreen, only to return with a slightly larger ball coated in bright orange fuzz. With no small amount of effort, and after several unsuccessful attempts, it eventually contrives to stack one sphere atop the other. And for a final trick, it places the now conjoined forms atop a diminutive octagonal column. Three further endeavors follow a similar pattern, as disks and cones, rubber bands and scraps of colored paper are carefully juxtaposed in meaningless but oddly satisfying arrangements.

Set Piece (Sequence 4), 2009, one of the four videos that made up Daniel von Sturmer’s modest London debut, is characteristic of the New Zealand–born

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