PANORAMA - Arte nuova in Alto Adige
Forte di Fortezza, BZ
June 16 - September 30, 2012

The extraneous age
by Tobia Moroder

Unfinished and unmistakable, Gehard Demetz realises his figures by assembling small wooden pegs as if they were shreds of history. His works are generally of children or adolescents with a look that is sometimes extinguished, sometimes melancholy and almost sulky, a symptom of the bitter conftict with themselves and the world of adults, and of the premature loss of tè that innocence that we usually attribute to infancy.

"It was the theories of Rudolf Steiner that made me see children in this way: he holds that until the sixth year of age, children can sense the unconscious and feel the impulses transmitted to them from their forebears. I am convinced of this hypothesis, together with the idea that these children are at the bottom conscious of their transformation into adulthood, perhaps also in virtue of my personal experience in overcoming infancy, which I remember in a particularly intense way."

At Franzensfeste can be seen objects from Demetz's more recent artistic production, almost ready-mades in the style of Duchamp. The sculptures on display - symbols loaded wlth religious meaning - appear slightly modified to the careful eye. The tabernacle, finely worked and silver-plated (here can be seen the virtuoso execution of the sculptural tradition of Val Gardena), is slightly curved, while the ostensory, in place of a consecrated wafer, holds an everyday item deprived of its function: a fork with no prongs. Such objects lend themselves to multiple interpretations: they lay bare, in a sophisticated and irreverent way, the superficiality with which we relate to the sacred, but they also make us look again at our certainties with regard to the structure of values and ideals supporting contemporary western society.