press release

Following a long intermission in the exhibition activity in Vienna of Martin Walde (who was born in Innsbruck in 1957), the Vienna Secession is presenting recent works by the artist between September 27 and November 3, 1996. This exhibition in the Vienna Secession is the first one-man-show of Martin Waldes oeuvre in an Austrian exhibition hall.

Martin Waldeís works cannot be classified as belonging to any specific artistic genre. Their aesthetic vocabulary points to a no-manís-land situated somewhere between sculpture and everyday objects, text and drawing.

The depiction of instability, exemplified by the point of transition or transformation, may be said to form a common motif of all of the objects and storyboards in the Vienna Secession. The works generally feature alterations and mutations, which seem to arise from the use of unusual materials and techniques. These alterations and mutations are the result of years of experimentation with materials and often manage to transpose the physical reality of these works to the edge disintegration and loss. Thus, Martin Walde uses materials such as cotton wool, wax, silicon or water, whose amorphous and easily-manipulated form encourage the process of alteration or disintegration.

The object consisting of green jelly that is spread on the floor, for instance, not only constantly changes its form but also its original material composition as a result of the evaporation of water. Another situation is characterised by the foam ball hanging from the end of a rope. It seems to be caught in suspended animation in the penultimate moment before the laws of gravity would make it fall to the ground and so assume a new form. By playing with the laws of physics and chem-

istry and at the same time seemingly repudiating them, Martin Walde can introduce a sense stability into the apparent instability of these objects. And the specific poetry of Martin Waldeís works seems to lie in this balancing act between stability and instability. This experimental use of materials, which reflects the physical instability of objects, is thema-tically mirrored in the storyboards. Graphic symbols, figures from comics, ciphers, statistical tables and technical drawings reveal an idiom of their own that combines the hieroglyphics of our technological age with the world of comics.

Martin Walde exploits the tension between exact drawings and the simultaneous investigation of material transforma-tions in an ironic and sometimes almost lyrical way to demonstrate transience, change, metamorphosis and transitori-ness ñ without, however, giving preferential treatment to any one of these images of state.

Martin Walde
"storyboard, objects, installation"