23 November 2019 – 9 February 2020
Matt Welch (*1988 in Liverpool, lives and works in Frankfurt) creates expansive installations that encompass sculpture, video, and painting. The British-born artist designs and makes objects that resemble small models of architectures, bodies, or readymade objects. He relates his installations to the respective space, connects them with cables and includes sound elements, activated with the help of an electric mechanism. His artistic motifs incorporate a social commentary on topics such as the interiors of empty apartments or design objects. By playing with scale and combining elements of the most diverse kind and provenance, Welch questions social determinism and its current control over society.
For Adult Sculptures, the artist’s first institutional exhibition, Welch has developed a series of new sculptures that connect the human body and its interior with the Fridays-for-Future movement. Affixed to the screens of two realistically-sculpted, wall-mounted laptops are colour printouts of video stills from Welch’s recordings of climate demonstrations. The images of these young protestors, protruding from the screens, grant the audience a strange presence.
In contrast, two sculptures of slightly-oversized bodies lie on remnants of PVC flooring taken from a two-room apartment. Both are made from a collage of rabbit wire, paper, wood, and metal, their silhouettes and lifelike modeled hands suggesting they are adults. Their openly constructed upper bodies allow a glimpse inside. One figure contains a transparent, bloody-looking rotating door; the other, metallic intestines. A wire running across the floor connects the two sculptures and electrifies specific body parts, giving the bodies energy: the rotating door, like that of corporate building entrances, turns, and the realistic-looking cigarette intermittently glows. The electrical cables make both figures ‘work’, but at the same time also suggest their interdependency. But what exactly is their relationship to each other? Does the seated figure symbolize a heart-diseased superior, and the lying figure their employee? And what is the connection with the young people of the Fridays-for-Future movement? Has the older generation resigned itself to being apathetic, fatalistic observers, while the youth are willing to fight for the better future they still believe in?
Welch leaves a large space for interpretation, prompting manifold questions in relation to individual and collective forms of protest as well as to dependencies and power relations.
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