• Volker Lang | Sculptor back to the homepage
  • Volker Lang | Sculptor back to the homepage
  • Erläuterungen

    Spirit Lovers, 2008–12

    Installation in three parts

    Linden wood, 93 × 43 × 30 cm
    Pedestal, depending on the exhibition venue: concrete, 280 cm Ø 30 cm or plaster, 107 cm Ø 20 cm
    Plaster, rotated, 130 cm Ø 35cm

    Sound recording
    Texts excerpted from the film Journey to Italy
    by Roberto Rossellini, 1953, recorded and edited as a loop, ca. 9 min.

    Nine black-and-white photographs
    of Naples and environs, 1994–96 and 2008

    Lübeck, Overbeck-Gesellschaft 2008
    Wolfsburg, Junge Kunst 2008
    Augsburg, H2 Zentrum für Gegenwartskunst 2010
    Hamburg, Galerie Osterwalder 2012

    The work Spirit Lovers of 2008 consists of a carved wooden sculpture; a Madonna that rotates and rises, which when seen from behind looks like an abstract form or a cloud formation; nine black-and-white photographs of Naples and environs and a sound collage from Roberto Rossellini’s film Journey to Italy of 1953.

    The sculpture it’s a free copy of Baroque Maria Immaculata by the Austrian sculptor and architect Matthias Steinl (1644–1727). That artist’s version is rising toward heaven, standing on a tall pedestal, looking as if she is already beginning to take on the form of a cloud.

    Journey to Italy is about a trip that an English husband and wife, Katherine and Alex (Ingrid Bergman, George Sanders), take to Naples to sell the house of an uncle who had died. What was planned as a rational settlement causes the couple to reflect uncontrollably on their alienation from each other and from themselves, triggered by the city of Naples, with the spirits of its sites and their religions, some of which seem to exist in parallel with real life.

    The photographs were taken during a number of stays in Naples between 1994 and 1996. Their motifs correspond to those of the film. They are the places that Katherine (Ingrid Bergman): Cuma, Baia, Pompeii, Capri, Solfatara …

    The selection of the texts and noises from the film provides the most important data to experience the cinematic travelogue. Most are a woman’s voice, which emphasizes the traces of her ill-defined emotions that provide direction for the illustrations and the silent figure.

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