Marcus Ahlers - Transposed nodes
Opening: 30 May, 2008, 8PM
Tour of the exhibition: 29.06.2008, 3PM
Sat. and Sun. 2 - 6PM;
also open 27 June from 8PM -11PM
Ahlers, X-electrolysis, mixed media, 2007
artworks of Marcus Ahlers (born 1974) functions on the borderline
of visual arts and science. On one hand they explore visual metaphors
for the human body in its surroundings, making reference to social
and architectural space. On the other hand they are receptacles
for electro-chemical reactions, which take place within them.
sculptures in Transposed nodes are made of everyday materials
- often industrial in function. Some, such as X-electrolysis,
are anthropomorphic in form. The upper torso-like area contains
water and two wires which form the basis for an electrochemical
process - electrolysis - which slowly divides the water molecules
into hydrogen and oxygen. Ahlers notes that "everything is
a series of electrochemical processes" which "connect
us with our surroundings." In these works water electrolysis
is not only a metaphor for the many electrochemical processes that
are continually going on in our bodies on a cellular and molecular
level. It also refers to the fact that our bodies are 70% water,
and that water itself is made up of hydrogen, the basic element
that makes up most of the matter in the universe, and oxygen which
is necessary to life.
recent works in the exhibition are architectural in form; though
also indirectly anthropomorphic. As Ahlers' use of electrolysis
refers to cellular and molecular functions, his use of architectural
forms places the human in a social context. Buildings are our most
immediate surroundings, which we not only inhabit, but move through,
socialising, and breaking away into various public and private spheres.
This movement through space, combining, separating and re-combining
with others, is itself similar to a series of electrochemical reactions.
also makes reference to the anthropomorphic qualities of architecture,
where the plumbing system mirrors the digestive tract and ventilation
imitates respiration. The electrolytic reactions within these sculptures
also produce inspiration and material for further works. Copper
rods, representing pipes and plumbing react to electrolysis by producing
a liquid copper pigment that Ahlers then uses in his drawings.
other works, crystals appear over the duration of the sculptures'
lives, adding literally another layer, both aesthetic and chemical.
The sculptures also produce oxygen and hydrogen. In fact water electrolysis
is being considered as a means for producing hydrogen, an alternative
and renewable energy source. In other projects, Ahlers has produced
solar ovens and used bio-mass (in the form of 500 potatoes) to fuel
a short wave radio.
artwork of Marcus Ahlers combines science and art to explore the
inner connection between man and the environment on a variety of
levels ranging from the molecular to the social to the global.
Ahlers is also one of the founders and leaders of the takt kunstprojektraum,
an art space and residency program based in Berlin-Friedrichshain.