From 13 February until 30 May, S.M.A.K.
presents Timelapse, a solo exhibition by the Austrian artist Oliver Laric.
In his practice, Oliver Laric questions the authenticity of images. His focus lies less on the classical distinction between the original and the copy and more on the endless possibilities of repetition, change and dissemination that are offered by art history and the contemporary digitised world. Starting from the idea that the authentic is not bound to one form, that images have been reused since time immemorial, and that remixes and bootlegs have their own level of realism, he makes spatial and digital work that, in the latter case, is sometimes made freely accessible to the public.
Oliver Larics recent sculptures are based on scans of existing statues and involve a sophisticated 3D modelling and printing process. With their formal references to classical antiquity, eighteenth-century classicism and nineteenth-century academic plaster casts, as well as the intrinsic issues of copyright and authorship, the works are inventive exponents of his practice and of the time-lapse that he seeks to emphasise in the exhibition at S.M.A.K.
For the museum, the artist selected three pairs of sculptures that represent a special relationship between man and animal. Although each pair is cast from the same moulds, Laric has used a different mixture of materials and finishing techniques on each example. In contrast to their marble predecessors, he makes the sculptures light and ephemeral, sometimes perforating their skins, and replaces the traditional plinths with airy, metal frames. By presenting the sculptures as mirror images of each other in identical, opposite showcases, the artist alludes to their kinship. After all, they are similar and yet different; unique in their own way but also objects of further variation and multiplication. People are also invited to download the digital 3D models of the sculptures from the artists website (threedscans.com) and to make their own versions.
In the new and untitled video created for S.M.A.K., Oliver Laric demonstrates how a morbid process of growth, decay and decomposition manifests itself within a fictitious ecosystem. People, crustaceans, insects, fungi and plants traverse a white background as though observed through an electron microscope. Using a 3D modelling technique, Laric carefully sculpts each scene before rendering it. The material, which he activates in the sculptures by giving each a different interpretation, is brought to life in the animated figures as a sensuous substance. In the form of a metallic paste, it bursts beneath the skin of every upright and moving specimen. Meanwhile, transformations and life cycles stretch out in time or make surprising jumps. Oliver Laric establishes a rhythm using sharp cuts and jerky movements, of the kind seen in stop-motion animation films and time-lapse videos, or through the slowing of a blank screen. The atmosphere is shaped by Ville Haimlas soundtrack, a composer with whom Laric often works.