Silke Schatz

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Silke Schatz
Mothership, 2003
Mixed Media
140 cm diameter height variable

Memories – one’s own and those one inherits – are a central concern of Silke Schatz’s approach to making objects. She describes the drawn line as “the extension of a thought”, and her spectral drawings of buildings designed in her hometown of Celle, Germany by modernist architect Otto Haesler have the quality of memory’s unstable presence in the mind.

Silke Schatz
Elephantenhaus, 2003
Pencil and colourpencil on paper
240 x 290 cm

Much like medieval ‘memory palaces’ – imagined architectural structures, designed to aid in memorising texts – Schatz’s drawings attempt to impose the logical structure of actual space on the messy stuff of human thought. Like the partiality of memory, architectural drawings show an ideally unpopulated vision of the world; their ruled perfection is a kind of expunging of human unpredictability. Schatz’s drawings accept this, overlaying spatial information in complex layers, rendering the imagined space of utopian modernism uninhabitable and distant.

Silke Schatz
Celle, Siedlung Georgsgarten Block I and Wall Mural, 2006 after otto haesler 1927, 2006
Leadpencil and Colorpencil on Paper
2 parts; 230 x 165 cm, 230 x 82.5 cm

Similarly, in her mixed media mobile Mothership, Schatz recreates twentieth-century aesthetics in terms designed to show up its distance from the present. Concentric rings of cardboard, painted in dazzling hues and inlaid with text and photographic clippings from newspapers, hang from the ceiling, like a modernist chandelier, revealing and concealing their interiors as they turn. Like the memory of an object once seen and held in the mind, Schatz’s work is a wilfully quixotic object, the lightness and frailty of its construction part of its examination of memory’s failures.

Silke Schatz
Wurzelkind, 2006
Lagerfeuer 1950s found lamp with eight coloured lightbulbs 71 cm Diameter, approx 100 cm from floor Figures: Martha und Erich Schatz Clothing, Shoes, Wig, Wood, Cardboard, Photocopies on Fabric, Filling Material, hains, Screws, Lamp, Wire 190 x 102, Drawing: Celle, Thaers Gartenhaus, lead pencil on coloured paper, 294.5 x 460 cm (2 parts)

Silke Schatz
Engel, 2005
Mixed Media
187 x 51 x 43 cm

Silke Schatz
Mataré – Study I, 2007
Ink and photocopies on paper
47 x 68.5 cm

Text by Ben Street



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