Andreas Slominski undertook studies in philosophy before eventually entering art school. While studying art, he began to take an interest in traps used for hunting, which he started to collect. In 1984 he exhibited his traps as works of art, and traps of all kinds, for catching different animals and with varying appearances, have been at the heart of most of his work. Slominski’s traps introduced an element linked to nature into the world of art. In a manner that reflected the legacy of Duchamp’s ready-mades, these objects were full of contradictions, simultaneously natural and artificial. Crucially, they acquired a metaphorical sense related to the fatality of life and its antithesis: death. These elements have conceptually defined the output of Andreas Slominski, who during the 1990s produced a series of works, marked by the tension between naturalness and artificiality, in which banal, everyday acts are performed in an extremely complex way. For instance, in a piece for Skulptur Projekte Münster (1997) he placed a bicycle tire around a street lamp, but instead of simply sliding it over the top, he had the lamp dug out of the ground and then put the tire in place and reinstalled the lamp. Since then Slominski has focused on making objects, including overloaded stationary bicycles and large-scale traps, in which the tension between the natural and artificial is ever sharper. Such works incorporate an element of humour and irony. In the first decade of the twentieth century, institutions such as the Fondazione Prada in Milan and the Museum für Moderne Kunst in Frankfurt have presented major retrospective exhibitions of Slominski’s work.
David G. Torres