Spatial Displacements: The Space in Between

The exhibition by Sibylle Hofter, Heidi Kårtveit and Magnhild Nordahl examines spatiality in the built environment with installed works that possess elements of both architecture and sculpture in ‘the space in between’. By analysing the space in between sculpture and architecture, new ways of working are discovered and identifying non-objective abstraction establishes a theoretical
framework for using abstracted fragments.
The abstract spaces that the installed works occupy are made by artists whose work act as moderators between the architecture, which is permanent and prior, and the beholder who is transitory and contingent. All three artists acknowledge
abstract qualities in dealing with space by merging architectural and sculptural elements; where they intervene through metaphoric gaps, virtualities not easily categorised as one or the other.
The selection of the artists is based on each individual’s method of making work that is specific to sites within built environments. Sibylle Hofter removes conceptual and physical ‘coverings’ by challenging notions of form and space that transpose interiors by highlighting negative and positive and blurring lines between art and reality. Her work also explores film, text, installation and the spatiality of interior and exterior with photographs and objects. Heidi Kårtveit reconstructs interior spaces to examine human relationships and social interactions in the built environment. She incorporates kinaesthetics and sound so there is a shift in the value of experiencing the work. Magnhild Nordahl’s use of space is analogous to space as metaphor, with a spatiality requiring movement and duration. Her recent work transposes architectural facades on buildings and structural features in large constructions and highlights them as discrete artworks.
All three artists deconstruct, subvert and transform the built environment in a manner similar to Gordon Matta-Clark’s subverting of architecture. Their works share Matta-Clark’s ‘un-building’ of architecture by highlighting a spatiality that affects viewer experiences and perceptions. By interrogating differences and juxtaposing each artist’s work, the experience of the built environment is extended and spatial awareness is heightened – space, conceptual and physical is altered to challenge perceived knowledge.
The bringing together of three exceptional practitioners is significant in that it showcases innovative and exciting new works by two emerging Norwegian artists, and an established German artist for the first time in Australia.
Dr William Seeto is an artist and independent curator with a creative practice of over thirty years. He recently completed a Doctorate in Visual Arts at Sydney College of the Arts – University of Sydney. His dissertation analysed specific, new ways of working with non-objective abstraction in light phenomena, denoted imagery and the space in between architecture and sculpture.
In so doing, he interrogates the way artworks heighten or displace perceptual experience on both a haptic and kinaesthetic level.
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