Resting Through, Kunstverein Freiburg, DE,
From the Press Release:
Sean Edwards' installations often appear artisanal and materialistically sculptural, creating dynamic juxtapositions between art and non-art spaces, and between immediate perception and the more ephemeral references of personal memory and pop-cultural imagery. His work makes the viewer aware that if art grounds us in the present tense of our experience of it, it also comprehends other times and places. In Freiburg, with his installation Resting through Edwards has constructed a long shelving structure, made of raw plywood and open to both sides, which will span the length of 32 meters of the main exhibition hall, acting as both barrier and functional decor, as both furniture and sculpture. The work is presented alongside a small found photographic work detailing the Kunstverein in construction.
Typically, Edwards uses his sculptural interventions as a means of directing the viewer through the space his art occupies, as though he were leading us through an unfolding story. The shelf structure at Kunstverein Freiburg radically bifurcates the main hall, and forces the viewer to pass along its length and back and in order to see the other, the front side, to take the stairs upstairs and down again to cross over to the other half of the gallery. And yet, Edwards uses the shelf as a support for small and whimsical handmade sculptural objects, some throwaway found objects and image clippings. Here, they qualify the shelf structure's sculptural autonomy so it appears to be a gigantic mantelpiece or a grandiose plinth, as much as an art work in its own right. The visitor is left unsure of where he is standing, and what he is looking at. The shelf's division of the space becomes a symbol of its ability to polarise meaning and interpretation: it is art work as well as furniture, as the gallery it divides is a width of light industrial space spanned by functional decor, as well as an immaterial conceptual clearing traversed by abstract formalistic sculpture, and by the referential narratives. Edwards' shelf structure can be seen to function as a conveyor belt for these narrative.