Angelika Loderer’s sculptures might be classified as media-reflective art: the characteristics of the materials she uses and the manufacturing processes are fundamental parameters informing the design process. Her sculptures are frequently made of cast metal or secondary materials from the metal casting workshop—wax, for example, or special molding sand, which, because of its high level of form stability, is particularly well suited for casting. It is essential for the production of the mould proper but leaves no trace on the finished product—it is effectively invisible. Loderer makes this auxiliary agent her medium to “build” fragile and temporary sculptures; consisting of molding sand, they allude to metalworking while also initiating an inspiring and paradoxical dialogue between the durability of the one and the ephemeral quality of the other. Her creative approach is characterized by the improvisational and experimental uses she makes of her materials: unconventional combinations yield appealing objects that sometimes suggest a sort of “performative sculpture.”
The centerpiece in the exhibition at the Secession’s Grafisches Kabinett is an ensemble of new sand sculptures and pictorial objects realized in the gallery that are the results of the artist’s most recent experiments with fungal mycelia. Work on the new series began with sketches for sculptures to be made out of tamped sand; the finished works combine three grades of molding sand—each with its own characteristics and color—with custom-designed metal constructions in fragile temporary formations. In earlier sand sculptures, Loderer had integrated other materials and found objects such as a mattress, producing unusual results or incorporating chance as a defining factor in the manufacturing process. Though highly malleable, the sand sets limits to the creative will, making the work with it a process that plays out between artistic intention and the potentials of the material.