pawel althamer: ‘one of many’


Milano, Italy

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pawel althamer: ‘one of many’
exhibition at the fondazione nicola trussardi, milan
may 7 – june 5, 2007
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‘it is a major achievement to realise that the body is only a
vehicle for the soul. I feel like a cosmonaut in the suit of
my own body, I am a trapped soul.
the body plays a role of a dress, of an address.
my bodily address is pawel althamer…’
- pawel althamer

in the exhibition ‘one of many’ (curated by massimiliano gioni
artistic director of the fondazione nicola trussardi)
pawel althamer celebrates the human being in all its fragility.
for the polish artist, the human being is always the center of
our universe, a universe which can be transformed into a
fairy tale or an extreme spiritual experience.
fiction and reality merge and overlap to construct an eerie
world.for his exhibition, pawel althamer has used his own
body and his own image as tools to construct a different
relationship with the world. multiplying his identity in an infinite
crowd of idols, dolls, and disturbing puppets, althamer
populates the exhibition with human figures and mysterious
totems. like relics of some archaic and primordial world, his
sculptures investigate the meaning of basic, visceral human relationships and question the limits of identity.

with these human sculptures althamer creates a visual
autobiography, portraying himself as a child, as a tiny
character in some ancient fable or as a monstrous and
hyper-realistic creature.
as in a family album, althamer sculpts portraits of his little
daughter, of his partner – represented almost as a giant,
pregnant athena – and of his new born son, who is reduced
to a little foetus.

in a different section of the exhibition, pawel althamer presents
nine videos, each of them reporting his reactions to different
drugs: poetic and fragmentary self-portraits, althamer’s films
document the altered states of the artist’s mind while
describing new and obscure magical rituals. with each video
he confronts the audience with a non filteredreality.

the park outside the palazzina appiani building becomes
also a stage. in front of the entry there is a huge self-portrait
of the artist – an aerostat balloon, more than 20 meters long,
presenting himself naked before the judgment of the public.
as if it were a village festival, althamer flies over the trees like
an UFO or an absurd, temporary public monument.

an african musician plays traditional folk songs,
which through a special audio system is distributed in the
exhibition and on the balcony that opens onto the sports
arena: ‘life is treated like a movie, complete with a soundtrack
– a film in real time.’

pawel althamer
the polish artist was born in warsaw in 1967.
between 1988 and 1993 althamer attended classes in the
sculpture department of the academy of fine arts in warsaw.
most of his sculptures are made with organic materials such
as grass, hemp fiber, animal intestines,wax and hair.

‘I feel such a distance from myself and the sculptures are a
kind of sign, and I use mixed techniques because I feel I’m
very mixed, mentally mixed, and by education I’m mixed.’
- pawel althamer

althamer is also a performance and action artist / creator
of video art.

Artwork Comments

  • midzing
  • erinmagoc
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