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Filling Holes with Holes II
Original title: Löcher mit Löchern stopfen II
1993
Painted ceramic
Dimensions: Complete work installed: 77.5 x 105 cm
Reference: ACF0523
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Throughout her work, Asta Gröting has often turned to circular forms. Many of her pieces consist of objects whose edges coincide with the circumference of a circle. This geometrical figure appears in sculptures that represent anatomical elements, such as Schlund (1992), a long tube reminiscent of an oesophagus, and in the ones that move away from familiar visual referents to address more abstract ideas, such as the four sections of a large-diameter cylinder that make up Monde (1990). In the film and sculpture project she presented under the generic title Eis (1995), ice skaters evolve on the rink at Frankfurt stadium, following a notably circular pattern and pushing objects of the same shape, like an immense ring of polystyrene foam entitled Nest (1995). Apart from any insights that an iconographic analysis of her work may reveal, the idea of a cycle, a continuous succession of events, is a theme that constantly reappears in her work. Löcher mit Löchern stopfen II consists of eight elements resembling plates, though far larger than regular ones. Piled on top of one another, they form a vertical cylinder. Each element has a large hole whose centre coincides with the centre of the outer circumference of the object. The ceramic piece is painted a deep gold colour. The Roman numeral that appears in the title refers to another work with the same title made two years earlier. We can observe minor differences between the two: the first has seven elements and a uniform silvery finish. The same idea also appears in other works from the same period: Gehäufter Mangel (1992) is very similar to the piece from the Fundación ”la Caixa” Collection, though it consists of twelve elements that are not painted. Mangelerscheinung (1992) uses a hundred or so similar objects (plates with a hole in the centre), but they are smaller, and instead of being piled up they are distributed irregularly around the floor of the exhibition room. Within Gröting’s oeuvre, Löcher mit Löchern stopfen II shares the recurrent idea of circularity and the cycle. Like her choreography of the ice skaters, the successive openings we find lead us to a continuous movement, which recalls the energy of rituals of mystical invocation, such as those practised by Muslim dervishes. In the end, and in line with our Western cultural heritage, the circle she proposes is the purest representation of perfection. However, in this case, the concept is broadened to the third physical dimension, depth. The circular form, the hole, runs through the entire cylinder formed by the plates. A fresh reflection about interior and exterior, what we see and what we do not know, is posed here. This is an open sketch—typical of her work—that explores ideas about the conception of art, its forms, and, beyond these human constructs, ideas about life.

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