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Negative Space @ Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe ZKM

The artists Elias Crespin, Jesús Rafael Soto and Gego participate in the exhibition Negative Space. Trajectories of Sculpture, at the ZKM Karlsruhe. The show disrupts the canonical principles of the sculptural, and reflects on the prospects of this artistic practice in contemporary society. In 1986, the exhibition of the Center Pompidou What is Modern Sculpture? raised the question about the essence of sculpture in the modern era. With a repertoire  of 200 different aesthetic proposals, the artist, curator and language theorist Peter Weibel starts from the notions developed 33 years ago in Paris, to continue the conceptual discussion from the trench of the 21st century.

Negative Space questions the dominant vision of modern and contemporary sculpture by telling a different story. From the foundation of the discipline in ancient Greece, we have linked this technique with the corporeal, the solid, the static, with a specific place in space. In Negative Space, an extensive variety of formats, discourses and positions approach sculpture from an opposite perspective: as an open space, as a vacuum, a contour,  a mirror, a shadow and as virtual spaces; the non-place, materialized through the diaphanous and floating, of what is pending. In this way, the selection seeks to explore the possibilities of the material and the different configurations of sculpture in a reality constituted by interstices between the informational vortex of the hyper-globalized world.


In the specific case of the work of Elias Crespin, experimentation with different materials is key and given that its operation depends on a computer interface, his pieces fit perfectly into the proposed debate. The participation of Crespin in this exhibition is a reflection of the importance of his artistic work in relation to the contemporary paradigm: his installations controlled through custom designed software, pose an important link between art and science. These electrokinetic pieces question the corporeal and unitary notion of the sculptural and are installed within space as matter itself behaves: always in motion. However, this dynamism is not chaotic but forms a stylized dance in perennial construction. If we take into account that Negative Space. Trajectories of Sculpture is an exhibition that seeks to disrupt the canonical principles of the sculptural, and reflect on the possibilities of this artistic practice in contemporary reality, the inclusion of this creator in the display is more than appropriate.