Corona Journal: Florian Slotawa from South Tyrol

Corona Journal: Florian Slotawa from South Tyrol

Florian Slotawa, Lager, 2020, installation view Galerie von Bartha, Basel, photo: Ben Koechlin

We asked artists around the world, who are close to the Haus am Waldsee through exhibitions, what their situation is like at the moment.

Florian Slotawa (*1972) is one of the most innovative sculptors in Germany who exhibits internationally. He often uses inventories, meaning found material from everyday use, to create unusual installation works. Slotawa had a solo exhibition at Haus am Waldsee in 2005. He teaches at the Kunsthochschule Kassel and has lived in South Tyrol since 2019.

Here is his text:

The situation with the virus is very drastic here in Italy and the mood in the country is really tense. At the same time we are quite far away from all that in our village. We enjoy the view of the snow-covered mountains and are outside a lot with the children. The current project is that we collect wild herbs with them and then make soups or salads. The biggest cutback for us is clearly that school and kindergarten are closed and it will probably stay that way until mid-September, that is until the end of the summer holidays. To have the children at home all day long and to catch up on schoolwork at the same time is a real challenge for us in places.

Shortly before the lockdown, I was able to set up my exhibition in Basel at Galeria von Martha, which also deals with our move: Shortly after our move, I have now closed my studio in Berlin. The complete inventory was brought to Basel, where I brought it together with sculptures from the gallery’s depot and collection. In this way, two incisions come together through the material in a sculptural way: the 50th anniversary of the gallery and our move to South Tyrol.

I notice that in my work I am always looking for or even require such transitional situations. The 2005 exhibition at Haus am Waldsee also had a lot to do with this, since Katja Blomberg had just started her work at the house and in my opinion it was necessary to make a break on the material level as well. So I also see our move to the mountains not so much as an escape to the countryside with the children, but, from an artistic point of view, as a conscious break with the existing conditions: so that it doesn’t become entrenched and everything remains fresh.

Florian Slotawa