The Contemporary Austin
700 Congress Avenue
artist / participant
Florian Slotawa (b. 1972) is a Berlin-based conceptual artist who, in a conscious refrain from adding objects to an already overflowing world, utilizes everyday items, existing objects and spaces to create temporary sculptural assemblages and installations that invite discussions about the contexts and implications of institutional display, the boundaries between private and public space and notions of artistic preciousness. Many of Slotawa's past projects involved his own personal possessions--from meticulously photographing and cataloguing his clothing, cassette tapes, cooking utensils, and other items; to constructing large-scale referential sculpture from his furniture and electrical appliances; to even selling the entire inventory of his belongings to a collector. Similarly, Slotawa has worked with art collectors and museum staff to display their respective belongings as installations or reconstructions of spaces within institutions (for example, in one project, a curator's home furnishings replaced those in the museum shop, and in another, museum gallery and office spaces were switched). Dismissing objects' traditional functions, he liberates them from a closed system of interpretation, thereby revealing their latent artistic potential, a strategy which he has also extended to the exhibition space.
Slotawa has been invited by Elizabeth Dunbar, Arthouse's new curator, to create a temporary, site-specific installation that draws upon the Jones Center's rich and layered history as a theater, women's department store, and finally, contemporary art space. Slotawa plans to transform Arthouse's interior space into a monumental sculptural installation that encourages visitors to radically re-engage with the surrounding environment and to consider its past, present and future incarnations.
About the Artist Slotawa has had solo exhibitions of his work at the Bonner Kunstverein (2004) and Kunsthalle Mannheim (2002), both in Germany, and the Kunstmuseum Thun in Switzerland (2003). Recently, his work was included in the acclaimed "Of Mice and Men," the 4th Biennial for Contemporary Art in Berlin (2006) and "Made In Germany," a major survey of contemporary German art organized by the Sprengel Museum, Hannover; the Kunstverein Hannover and the Kestergellschaft in 2007. This is his first solo exhibition in the United States and will be accompanied by a full-color publication. In Summer 2008, Slotawa will have his second U.S. solo exhibition at P.S. 1 MoMA in New York.
Florian Slotawa: One After the Other