"CLAY"

Susanne Kompast

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In another project, the locus was also Tiber Island. Cardboard spheres with printed strips with the 30 articles of Human Rights were transformed by fire in reference to the 1938 Novemberprogrom, ordered by the Nazi-Regime in Germany and Austria. 

Being in the c.r.e.t.a. Rome ceramics studio for the period of a month, I took the opportunity to advance my studies of the nature of clay.
Instead of firing some of the objects, I reversed the process, transforming them anew through dissolving them in water. I took the dried-out clay figure „Sitting Man“ to Tiber Island. Sitting on the sand bank at the end of the island, the sculpture was partly lapped by the waves. The next day, I discovered that the „Sitting Man“ had partially dissolved. The waves had not taken him away. The result will be on display at the show.
I refer to the essay „Was ich in Rom sah und hörte“ written by Ingeborg Bachmann.
She writes about the Noialtri – meaning the Tiber Island, the island of the ill and the dead –  it is also a boat, transporting burdened people, on the river but it does not feel them as a heavy load.  

„...Die Tiburina bewohnen die Noialtri – wir anderen. Das ist so zu verstehen, dass sie, die Insel der Kranken und Toten seit aller Zeiten von uns anderen mitbewohnt werden will, mitbefahren, denn sie ist auch ein Schiff und treibt ganz langsam im Wasser mit allen Beladenen, in einem Fluss, der sie nicht als Last empfindet....“
aus „Was ich in Rom sah und hörte“, Ingeborg Bachmann

Bio

Susanne Kompast was born 1957 in Vienna and in her disposition she is a nomad. Wherever she goes changing places to live, the movement enriches her life as an artist.  From 1980-85 she studied sculpture at the Edinburgh College of Art, Heriot-Watt University, Scotland. This place became an important stronghold in the development of her art.                                                                                            
Another theme she concentrates on is public space. She traces the social and political aspects by installing patterns in the public sphere which become a visual survey with the pedestrians playing the interactive part.   
                                                                                                                                                     Text by Robert Sommer – curator at Aktionsradius Vienna.