Clemens Krauss, ‘Actors’, installation view, 2020, SMAC Berlin. Image courtesy of the artist.
The exhibition ‘Actors’ by Clemens Krauss featured five new sculptures, collectively titled Aktuerinnen (2020), which were specially made for the exhibition at SMAC. In conversation with these new works, Krauss’ paintings from the Remaining Silent series (2013-14), the work Hand (2017), and the video work Lieber Clemens | Dear Clemens (2019) were shown for the first time in Berlin.
Layered from pure oil paint, the Aktuerinnen sculptures are between 45 cm and 80 cm high and weight almost 200 kg. In their massive presence and interactive quality, Krauss alludes to the relationship between the observer and the observed. When interacting with the works, the observer takes on both the role of the acting object and the role of the treated subject. In this sense, there is no work without a viewer.
The presence or absence of colour runs like a guide through the artistic practice of Clemens Krauss. The multi-part and delicate painting, Remaining Silent (2013-14), relates directly to the cavities in which the historically valuable Buddha statues of Bamyan in Afghanistan were located until they were demolished by radical religious groups in 2001. In his painting, Krauss makes it clear how the intentional erasure of cultural identity and the creation of emptiness can become a stronger symbol than the image itself.
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