We are delighted to show Markus Karstiess in his fourth solo exhibition at VAN HORN.
Under the title “Not to See the Sun”, the sculptor Markus Karstiess will show his new group of works.The sculptures on display will appear in gleaming, iridescent shades of colors and become landscapes or arrows within the exhibition space.
Karstiess, who is known for his abstract ceramics, in which regularities of the material and the direct handwork of the artist lead to the shape and form of the sculptures, devotes himself in his recent works to a concrete figuration, the serpent.
Similar to his interest for the property of ceramics, the sculptor is also affected by the history of the snake and it’s ability of cultural storage. As the animal that kills, it appears as a symbol of destruction, as one that periodically renews its skin, it represents life and rebirth. Snakes stand for the enigmatic, the irrational and the intuitive. Primary instinct of nature, as well as a symbol of divine wisdom. Karstiess focuses in his work more on the movement history of the animal. The serpent as a power of the ascending, as a mediator between heaven and earth or as a lightning symbol of Indian dance rituals in which snakes are supposed to bring the rain. The artist concentrates on the stage of transition. The molting of the snake turns into the performative moment of the sculpture. An intermediate state arises. A fluid movement of being still there and already been gone again. The works hang on the wall and move between above and below. “Not to touch the earth, Not to see the sun” is the title of the song by The Doors, which also provides the title of the exhibition. Back then Jim Morrison was inspired by “The Golden Bough”, a book by the anthropologist John Frazer. In the chapter “Between Heaven and Earth”, the author describes the rules and customs of ancient Asian and South American cultures that imposed on their heirs to the throne and saints of a nation neither to touch the ground nor to be exposed to sunlight, thus to remain in a state of limbo. The moment in between.
Text and translation: Victoria Tarak