Daniel von Sturmer
25th October – 15th December 2012
Anna Schwartz Gallery
Moving through Daniel von Sturmer’s ‘small world’, there is a feeling of weightlessness, lightness. Von Sturmer’s eight new video works are presented on LCD monitors or projected onto small translucent screens, positioned on sharp, clean-cut forms of brilliant white polystyrene. Every aspect of the installation and of the space is a light source, either projecting or reflecting light. Each object of the installation appears to float, as if aware of its own mass and materiality; it displaces its weight into air, becoming a flat, bright image of itself.
Echoing the white planes and rectilinear volume of the gallery space, the plinths make up a second architecture within the gallery, a structure upon which the individual scenarios of the works are built, and one whose articulated form refers to other abstractions, perhaps a simplified conception of the shape of a city or early Modernist sculpture. The forms at once unify and isolate the videos. While the works share the continuous white surface, the extrusions and returns interrupt the line of vision, making it impossible to see the entirety of each work from one position.
Progressing from one sequence to the next, viewing these works requires more action from the viewer than simply looking. To watch each work, it is necessary to move, to walk, to become conscious of the role of the entire body in the process of watching. The position of each video allows certain partial views of the others and thereby encourages a “floating” between them. Reading is, as always, from left to right but one looks backward, re-reading works already viewed, finding moments of repetition or correspondence between individual episodes that entail a distracted mode of reception.
The internal pace of each individual sequence requires a new adjustment of focus. Each video records a gesture, and the length of the action determines the duration of the work. The gesture, in turn is regulated by the materials involved: the viscosity of paint, or the transparency of shadows. Ultimately though, the very material conventions of painting, drawing and sculpture have been tested and removed, filmed and re-presented as light upon a surface.