Hartmut Stockter • Der Landschaftszirkus kommt in die Stadt
Finissage: 24. September 2021
“…the circus stayed longer in the city and now goes its way…”
Because of the enthusiasm created by the interactive art of Hartmut Stockter, we extended the exhibition and now want to celebrate the show-closing together with you. We would like to invite you to the grand Finissage on 24.9. from 7pm and would be happy to welcome you!
Who Hartmut Stockter is, what his works can tell us and which meta-levels are drawn, you can read in the following text. Let yourself be inspired and come by!
We are delighted to present Hartmut Stocker’s (*1973, Wilhelmshaven) solo exhibition Der Landschaftszirkus kommt in die Stadt (“The Landscape Circus Comes into the City”).
“As an artist, you sometimes feel like a showman – you have your repertoire of attractions and travel with a selection of them to different shows across the country, you set them up at each location while hoping that they speak to the visitors that come by”, explains Hartmut Stockter. His sculptures and installations, made from recycled materials such as wood, metal, concrete or plastic, invite us, as visitors of his artistic arena, to become circus performers ourselves: how much drive does one need to get the Wiesentretmühle (2020) moving; in which direction will the Auflugsorakel (2018) send me today, if I pull just strongly enough on its strings? “The employable and interactive sculptures on display have the character of a travelling showman’s business. I try to address visitors quite directly, like a circus would do, hoping they will ultimately get to the actual topic and engage with the landscape.”
To reflect on the phenomenon of landscape – be it an ideal, pastoral landscape, a tiny habitat on the sidewalk or an overgrown strip of grass in Berlin – forms the centre of Stockter’s work. Stockter, who is trained as a sculptor, grew up on the German Wadden Sea. Today, he lives on a houseboat in the southern part of Copenhagen, not far from his container studio, which is so crammed with materials that he works outdoors most of the time. Stockter’s fascination and sensibility towards the surrounding landscape and its living creatures permeate all his works. He mentions works like Spiral Jetty (1970) from the Land Art artist Robert Smithson as early artistic influences. Stockter’s sculptures focus strongly on the mutual and interactive relationship between landscape, artwork and viewer. His works encourage the viewer – often in a playful manner, sometimes with humour and poetry – to not only observe our relationship to our natural environment – both large and small – with all our senses but also to challenge it.
For example, Stockter had the idea for his work Wiesentretmühle, which looks like an oversized hamster wheel at first glance, in response to an invitation to exhibit in a former prison. Confronted with the unusual exhibition space, he asked himself what would happen if we suddenly had no access to landscape as a freely accessible exterior space anymore: “Would you somehow create a substitute landscape?” Contrary to virtual worlds or dreams, the Wiesentretmühle is the material realisation of such a substitute landscape, through which the visitor can move, step by step, despite always walking on the same spot. At the same time, the artwork can be read as a metaphor for a time which, due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, has been shaped by lockdowns and other such restrictions of free movement. Which landscapes have we missed in the last year? What does it mean, to move within a landscape? What do we see, smell and hear? And what happens to us and our sense of time if the path which we walk on always remains the same? How much energy does it take to walk on the same spot or, figuratively, to tread water?
“The diary has been jumbled all the time. Everything moves a bit more slowly. Because other activities are cancelled, however, one could concentrate on art. You potter around in your little bubble, hoping that the exhibitions you work for will happen eventually”, muses Stockter. It is with even greater delight, therefore, to present his “landscape circus” in our gallery! And as they say: this is a spectacle not to be missed!
Hartmut Stockter has lived in Copenhagen since 2002. In 1995, he began his studies at the Fachhochschule Hannover and later completed his education as a sculptor at the Hochschule für Bildende Künste Braunschweig. He was a visiting student at the University Copenhagen for Greenlandic and Arctic Studies as well as an artist in residence at the Refugium Upernavik in Greenland. His works have been exhibited in numerous international exhibitions.
Come by and let Hartmut Stockter amaze you. We look forward to welcoming you again – under almost “normal circumstances”.