Elisabeth Grübl - Photos



Of Conceptual Photography and Sculpture. Thoughts on the Studio Series by Elisabeth Grübl. “This work is based on artists’ studios. Everything in the room – in other words artworks, materials and furniture – is condensed into the form of a rectangular cube (or, more correctly, cuboid). With everything ultimately stacked into this sculptural form, the entire workspace ends up empty except for this rectangle, and a completely altered spatial situation is the result. In each studio, this process is concluded by taking a single frontal photograph.” The works of Vienna-based artist Elisabeth Grübl are characterized by a reduced, minimalist-seeming formal vocabulary which ranges from sweeping installations to sculptural objects and conceptual photographs and on to electronic sounds. In her artistic practice, parameters of visual and spatial perception are often closely referenced to one another.

Elisabeth Grübl is a spatial thinker: her construction of the sculptural cube takes place parallel to the destruction of the preexisting syntax of the studio as a space of production and living. By means of occupation, suspension and abstraction, Elisabeth Grübl uses the placement of her cube to proclaim that which is concrete within the space; translated into the medium of conceptual photography, the frontal view exhibits a structurally decisive quality. The concept pursued by Elisabeth Grübl in her studio series varies according to the spatial situation at hand. The studio, as an open space that can be entered and experienced, undergoes transformation into a performative artistic space. Elisabeth Grübl creates a work of perception that slips away from the physical world of perceptive processes to which we are accustomed. In each case, all objects within the room are consistently integrated into the stack and – according to their physical characteristics – into the cuboid form of the sculpture. Via this juxtaposition of emptiness and condensation, the relationships between the space and the objects are rendered more intense – and the phenomenologies of minimalistic projects are thus expanded by an aspect of a material language which is derived from the studio situation. By shifting the spatial disposition of things, Elisabeth Grübl engages in a sort of displacement. From a conceptual standpoint, it is a precisely devised intervention. With the rectangular cube, Elisabeth Grübl questions a fundamental form of modern rationalism. Even so, the rectangle is not hermetically sealed within itself, but much rather leaves open opportunities to at least imagine the various distinct objects. Closer examination of this work’s referential nature (which arises from the studio situation) turns up a further dimension as well, which reveals itself in the stringent frontal shot.

How could sculpture and space be thought of differently? How can sculpture be conceived of when it has been transferred to conceptual photographs? The conceptual photographs by Elisabeth Grübl stand out by virtue of their interventionist way of coding specific artistic processes with aesthetic media, materials and the traditions of conceptual and minimalist sculpture. The artistic process via which Elisabeth Grübl stacks all the objects and artworks found in the studio of the artist in question adheres to a sort of abstraction in structuring, while also integrating the questions of originality and authorship associated with every studio visit into the concentrated structure of the rectangular cube – rendering it nearly impossible to draw any conclusions about the studio as it was before. In this, Elisabeth Grübl develops a context-specific and project-oriented form of artistic production which undertakes a transfer – and hence a shift – of our receptive patterns as opposed to the usual forms of re-presentation.