Gedi Sibony. A sculptural influence.

 

Gedi Sibony Untitled Carpet.

Gedi Sibony is a artist whose work I have looked at in relation to my final project. Sibony has a similar attitude to materials as Michael Johansson, whom I have discussed previously. Here again is a sculptor who uses a process of re consolidating objects and who reacts against the processes of over production and replacement. As with Johansson he takes the same rigorous approach to composition, line and form but Sibony's objects are much less asking to be looked at and are more about occupying a certain space quietly. His sculptures carry much less weight in their environments and they form part of the room itself much like a Haiku poem.

There is a feeling of the artist not being present in the works as if he is a mere conduit for the energy left in the materials themselves or the stories they bring with them through the life cycle of production, consumption and eventual discarding. Sibony expresses that he feels at best able to be ready to catch the energy coming through and never wishes to 'forcibly assert' an idea of the creation of an art object onto the materials and spaces he works with.

His strength lies in understanding the composition of a room and writing an appropriate intuitive visual score that places his sculptures harmoniously amongst the existing structures. He has influenced me in the sense that I think of landscape and poetic form when I look at these otherwise discarded materials he has turned into contemplative sculpture. I feel this is important as it enables me to look at materials and try to sensitively work with them to create balance, harmony, structure and form. Artists like Sibony show this can be done with a piece of discarded cardboard as much as it can be done with expensive materials.

I like Sibony precisely because he opens ones eyes to otherwise not felt possibilities. He has a powerful sense of aesthetics and it encourages one to practice consistently to keep working with relationships between the most basic of materials in order to develop a strong sense of balance and quiet composition.

He famously speaks about the frustration of not being able to levitate his sculptures which perhaps reflects some frustration with the idea of sculpture itself and how he may feel a wish to break from the formal traditional ideas of sculpture or the labelling of his materials as trash. He is certainly more at home with a space to work with rather that producing traditional ideas of independent sculptural art objects.

As with David Hammons there is a sense of incredulity when one is being asked to take what is essentially trash or discarded items such as a piece of plywood or plastic and engage with these on a deeper level. I think neither artist would deny that this is a process their work has to go through in the viewer initially. Ultimately however the strength of the work and its seriousness lies in its minimal finely balanced austere formalism that adds the essential balance to the more playful aspects of their work.

I look for inspiration amongst artists who are addressing materials in interesting ways and who are creating work that fires the creative imagination. I never look for a certain type of beauty but I am consistently drawn to artists who have a strong compositional balance within their work. This balance can be immediately apparent or can emerge from repeated looking. I think I would wish my final piece to be a balanced harmonious composition that used similarly discarded materials. I am increasingly drawn toward sculpture as perhaps the medium I will eventually work in for this project despite my initial ideas that the work would be video based.

 

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