english < german

Künstlerisches Selbstverständnis

(Deutsche Version folgt)

Claire Waffel works with media, video, installation, photography, collage, and architecture. Her projects draw upon and intervene in structures of time and space, examining their role in people's lives, their relation to former traumas, and the links of landscape and architecture to ideology. If “space is not some abstract notion but our own dimension" (Etel Adnan), the same could be said for time. By disclosing and intervening in the physical and human, Waffel shows their continuum, from recording spontaneous interventions to more extended investigations of the hidden ideological history of contested buildings.

Waffel's most recent piece „Please Do Not Touch The Ceiling” re-frames the theme of past ideologies and their repression through exposure of history cinematically and architecturally. A central building in a town in Slovakia, for ideological purposes, was altered to hide its former function. Appropriated by Communism in the '50s, a synagogue was transformed into a concert hall. A lowered prefabricated ceiling hid the ornamental religious cupola. Waffel's intervention exposed this and enacted the exposure itself. Producing both a film and photographs from the site, she cut through a part of the gallery building in the manner of Gordon Matta-Clark to reveal its layers, then turned a cut piece into a sculpture whose materials invoked the history of minimalist sculpture.

In Waffel's work, lives, history, and form are positioned to reveal themselves and the narratives at work. The result questions contemporary narratives, reveals other narratives that have been abandoned, and proposes narratives yet to come. From personal storytelling to abstract analytic installations, from the carefully planned and orchestrated to the unpredictablility of a simple gesture, Waffel examines the capacity of multiple forms to transmit, illustrate, and disclose the way our imagination of what exists can be both hidden and revealed.