Ground Coil, 2011
Corrugated cardboard strips, electrical tape
Installation views from Vlatka Horvat: Beside Itself at Zak|Branicka. Berlin, Germany.
Ground Coil is an ephemeral arrangement of cardboard strips joined together to form a spiral which emanates from – or moves towards – the centre of the gallery space.
The work transforms the space with a simple gesture, using impoverished materials, negotiating and bringing into focus a dysfunction of several incoherent geometrical elements: the spiral, the square, and the line. The linear cardboard strips have to be bent at different points as they follow the process of becoming a spiral. The round shape they eventually form will never be perfect and therefore the work’s transformation of straight lines of the cardboard strips into a circular shape contains a certain unresolved tension. The wider the spiral becomes, the looser and less circular it gets. The strips are bent at fewer points and the round spiral becomes (un)naturally more square, as if trying to adapt to the rectangular room that contains it.
Ground Coil is a troubled and troubling object – a hand-made dizzying spiral vortex that in its temporary claim on the space renders it all but inoperative. The viewer entering the space is forced to move along the walls and negotiate the obstacle, following its shape around the room. The gallery thus becomes a landscape, both constrained and activated by the presence of the parasitic object that inhabits it.
The work – minimal and formal at the same time as being avowedly hand-made – enacts a single simple spatial gesture with impoverished or disposable materials to transform the gallery. Ground Coil renders the bulk of the gallery floor space un-passable at the same time as re-drawing (and drawing our attention to) the volume of the floor, creating a tension between the curved vortex of the pliable materials and the rectilinear frame of the white cube whose floor space and spatial volume is brought into sharp focus by the presence of this object.
Evocative of a lake, a pond, a vortex, or a whirlwind (of water or of the wind), the piece further works as an index of something natural displaced, colonizing the interior architecture in which it sits with some tension and alters the movement of people in the room – who, by moving around it, perceptually appear to activate its circular movement and animate its spinning momentum into a dizzying “living” conundrum.