The roots of artist's practice are in the deliberate irrationality, spontaneity and humour that characterized Dadaism in the early 20th century. His absurd or witty works consciously aim for maximum complexity; with them, the artist mocks the contemporary obsession with efficiency and invites visitors to join him in questioning why things are the way they are.
Exhibitions by German artist Andreas Slominski grow out of his rigorous engagement with the institution involved and its context. His relationship with the Serpentine Gallery began more than ten years ago, with Some Went Mad, Some Ran Awayâ€¦ in 1994, a group show curated by Damien Hirst. More recently, for State of Play, 2004, he contributed Wall Built from Top to Bottom, an example of the ludicrously labour-intensive action he enjoys engineering. Some of his works reveal a delight in pranks and sly wit, while others provide clues to his intriguing, but at times mysterious activities. Either way, viewers are drawn inexorably into a hunt for the impetus behind his actions and the mythology that surrounds Slominskiâ€™s work.
The roots of Slominskiâ€™s practice are in the deliberate irrationality, spontaneity and humour that characterized Dadaism in the early 20th century. Slominskiâ€™s absurd or witty works, for example, consciously aim for maximum complexity; with them, the artist mocks the contemporary obsession with efficiency and invites visitors to join him in questioning why things are the way they are. Another frequent component of Slominskiâ€™s exhibitions is his custom-made traps, which are diverse in scale and form, depending on the prey for which they are intended â€“ mice, birds, dogs, foxes, leopards or deer. They are simultaneously sculptural and functioning objects with potential for brutality. The traps have been widely interpreted as metaphors for the deceptive and seductive nature of art itself, which ensnares onlookers through their own gaze and intellect.
Slominski has had a number of solo exhibitions at international venues, including Prada Foundation, Milan, 2003; Deutsche Guggenheim, Berlin, 1999; Kunsthalle Zurich, 1998 and Portikus, Frankfurt, 1996. The Serpentine exhibition offers an opportunity to see the objects, interventions and schemes which the artist has devised specifically for this presentation, and experience the element of surprise that he continually delivers.
An introduction to the work of Andreas Slominski
Saturdays 3pm. Admission free
Robert Garnett, critic and writer
Andrea Phillips, writer
Achim Borchardt-Hume, curator
Ben Jones, writer
Dallas Seitz, artist and curator
Rebecca Morrill, Serpentine Gallery exhibition organizer
Annie Davey, artist
Artwork as Event
Tuesday 24 May
The Sackler Centre of Arts Education at the Serpentine Gallery
Sweatshops are a regular series of events working as a factory for ideas and debate. This informal series of discussions, convened by Lisa Le Feuvre and Edgar Schmitz, invites writers, artists, curators and theorists to explore and develop their current research interests and open them up for discussion.
For the Andreas Slominski exhibition, the Sweatshop panel considers the way artists use encounters, events and performances strategically in their work. Discussion will focus on how this contemporary way of working relates to ideas of the dematerialization of the art object. Speakers include curator Jens Hoffman and writer Sally Oâ€™Reilly.
The Sweatshop will take place during the Andreas Slominski Education Private View.
For further information please contact
Louise Coysh, Project Organiser
Tel 020 7298 1533
Image: Andreas Slominski, Furnace for Burning Forked Branches 1997, Metal, 210 x 100 x 65 cm. Collection Bundesrepublik Deutschland Â© 2005 Andreas Slominski. Photo: Arno Declair
Kensington Gardens W2 3XA