This exhibition culminates a body of work Olivia Martin Moore began in Berlin.
Moore incorporates ephemera–such as poster advertisements and postcards collected while in Berlin–with traditional sculpture materials to create an immersive audio-visual installation. Moore collaborated with sound artist Zac Traeger to synthesize visual and aural colors and textures. The sculptures transform humble materials into an atmospheric portrait of two cities and the space between them and, at the same time, reflect on the history of the German Democratic Republic.
Please note the gallery will be open for the West Austin Studio Tour, Sat. May 16 from 11am-9pm and Sun. May 17 from 11am-6pm.
Lauren Klotzman Curatorial Statement:
Cities bear infrastructures, mostly consisting of pathways for human travel between/among space and place, origin and destination. Sculptor Olivia Martin Moore’s Between Here and There is a site-specific installation whose origin point begins with these transit(ional) features of the built environment, elaborating upon social architectures: first by gathering the raw materials of urban life, then by transforming those materials into works which are both poetic gestures and rich portraits of site.
Moore’s objects hold a kind of deceptive simplicity, wherein sculpture conveys both straightforwardness and slippage. As with the greater post-minimalists, the work is highly polished yet spare, an aspect which can obscure the facts of years-long process, painstaking effort toward detail, and a conceptual richness rife with poetic sensibility.
Between Here and There is the sum product of three years’ rumination and labor which began in Berlin from 2011-2012. The exhibition functions as a type of dialogue with transposal and transposition: while the work references important areas to the artist’s experience(s) in Berlin (her studio, the U-bahn, a lightpost, the biergarten), Austin is the site of its coming into being, fabrication, and assembly. As the artist herself describes, “Austin is home, the site of this work’s making… it wouldn’t have been able to be made anywhere but here… it has been a community effort, made of time and muscle.”
Thus, it is appropriate for the exhibition to be sited here, given that it speaks to expatriate encounters and all the nostalgic – even diasporic – types of feeling which come along with that experience; an aspect notably evident in the artist’s use of ephemera. Borrowing the concept of “structures of feeling” from Raymond Williams, performance theorist José Muñoz described ephemera as “including traces of lived experience and performances of lived experience, maintaining experiential politics and urgencies long after these structures of feeling have been lived.”
Between Here and There encapsulates transitory – and transportive – experience via a highlighting of ephemeral trace, fabrication of literal “structures of feeling,” and formation of poetic tautologies. Ghost Station replicates both the structure of an abandoned ticket booth and a mausoleum, while Mode (of Transport) – Le Coup Shoes reproduces and repeats the deterioration of postcard advertisements for a luxury shoe store, archiving the breaking down of a printed surface by emphasizing the impressions of shoes upon flyers upon stone on a street whose name literally translates to “stone.”
In both re(sounding) and Rosenthaler Platz Recorded, Moore’s visual language is an act of translation rife with circulatory reference, logics, doubling, and tautological play: the raw materials of the work both restate the architectures of the original objects (a layered collection of posters upon a circular lightpost) and articulate anew (a cross-section which traces that original, anarchic index) via meticulous processes of collection, recuperation, and re-casting.
Moore creates sculptures and environmental elements which not only function as polished slices of time and place, but also honor traces marked by the communal experience that is urban life. This is ephemera made solid, yet obscured; a collection of gestures toward attempts to freeze time.
All photos below are by Lily Brooks.