carlier l gebauer, Berlin
16.09.17 – 18.11.17
The exhibition takes dreams, visions, and spatial sensations from childhood as its starting point. A series of slender, highly polished steel sculptures are suspended from the gallery ceiling. Extending nearly to the floor, these hollow cocoon-like structures appear to levitate. These organic forms constantly vibrate and rotate. Their shapes are derived from elements of Roman and Islamic architecture, as well as small mechanical pieces used in motor engines. Called Father Forms, these sculptures obliquely reference the artist’s father, who as a teenager served in the Jordanian Army repairing engines and ventilation systems before exiling to Sweden two decades later where he initially found work in a metal factory and was an avid weekend gardener. The razor thin vertical lines of these suspended forms at times recall sharp, foreboding flower bulbs — evoking the contrast between the heat of mechanical work in the desert and flowers in a cold, Scandinavian landscape.
Unlike previous sculptures, the new metal works beckon you to enter them. Each Father Form becomes a sort of portal, a vessel for a trance-like experience. Upon entering, the spectator becomes multiplied, obliterated, and disjointed by the multiple reflections. This sensation is amplified by the profound sonority of the work — it’s an experience that envelops the entire body. Evocative, quasi-hermaphroditic forms, these sculptural vessels blur the boundaries between inside and outside, opening and enclosure, the individual and the collective.