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I slept like a dog, covered in moss

Celine Struger

28 September - 20 October 2018

invited by Eugen Wist

photos by Flavio Palasciano

I woke up at 3am and walked towards the beach
dogs barking at me every few meters.

For “I slept like a Dog, covered in Moss”, Céline Struger (b. 1982) has made a set of sculptures and ground works alongside a film that all revolve around the particularities of her visual language: an investigation of a democracy of gesture that levels material, form and composition as equal agents in the frame of the installation. Been of a relatively amorphous form before, the ground works were transformed to a more restrained practice combined with hanging sculptures that originated during her stay in South Korea. Her artistic method borrows language and aesthetics that welcome the viewer into a set-dimension that seeks to suspend time and questions ideologies and habits.

In “I slept like a Dog, covered in Moss”, Céline seeks to deconstruct and investigate the controlled sense of sight, as opposed to cultural contemplations upon it. Seeing does not exclusively mean seeing, as each gaze needs an abstraction to it. This implies a consideration or even more, reconsideration upon the mere thought of sight, when the gaze and the eye interlace with a longing for touch. The evaluation of vision and touch, as well as distance and proximity, lay in a questioning of the determination of site according to one’s presence in the specific space. Orchestrated by the artist, these agents hold the objects as well as spectators. Ground sculptures filled up with a conglomerate of water, ink and luminophor, seemingly of dense materiality, iridescent in their visual representation change visibility through a play of sunlight, positioning and reflection. As a playful chiasmus almost – things being touched by gaze and objects looking at the beholder – these are guiding the spectator via an invisible path along the objects that mark the floor. “I slept like a Dog, covered in Moss” meets the visitors with a pictorial language that challenges an imposed way of seeing, as well as everyday filters connected to a juxtaposition and hierarchy of forms, material and gaze.

Céline’s aim to consider a democracy of form in her artistic work is a claim to perform a gesture and serves as an elliptic introduction to an exhibition that collects aspects of the uncertain relationship of the viewer and the object. With a focus on the film “Witch Island” the exhibition circles back and forth between the limitation of movements by the audience and the pivot of the constellation of the relationship between formal and material aesthetics in all presented media. Introducing three chapters as a narrative, the fourth may be found as an environment that resonates on the conducted experience by the artist.

- Marie Oucherif

Céline Struger, I slept like a dog covered in moss, 2018, exhibition view, Gärtnergasse, Vienna

Céline Struger, I slept like a dog covered in moss, 2018, exhibition view, Gärtnergasse, Vienna

Céline Struger, Black Flower 2, 2018

Papermaché, bitumen

Céline Struger, Bong Eyed Borealis II, 2018

Steel, water, drawing ink

Céline Struger, Bong Eyed Borealis II, 2018

Céline Struger, Black Flower 3, 2018

Papermaché, bitumen

Céline Struger, Witch Island, 2018

Witch Island

We took a room at witch island
In the house of a family with
Barbecue, onions drying on the ground
And cats and dogs spotted with flees

In the first night
My friend dreamed that
He and his mother witnessed
A car accident

The impact tore
The drivers head off
In two parts

Echoing noise
Splintering glass
And my friends mother turned to him
In the aftermath of silence
And said
Maybe he deserved it

In the second night
I woke up around 3 AM
And walked towards the beach
Dogs barking at me
Every couple of metres

I saw a cat
In the middle of the road
Sitting upright
It didn’t move
When I approached it
I saw that
its head was trapped
In a tin can

I gripped it at the neck
It screamed excruciating
When I tried to loosen the can

On the 3rd evening
The mist came
It rolled up from the sea
Covering it fleetly

My friend and I walked next to each other at first
The suitcases sunk into the carpet
Sticking to it, as to roadkill

But then
My contact lens got flushed away
With trembling fingers
I retraced it’s
Every possible position
By palpation
But No

In the end
I spent what felt fifteen minutes
Walking away from the spoondrift
Holding one squinting eyeball down
towards
the lunar landscape under my feet
And the other one
In front of my chest
scanning the white-out
for something like
a horizon

- Celine Struger