Flux, 2019

Carbon Dioxide, Coal

65.5 x 80.8 x 235 cm

Eine aus festem CO2 aufgebaute Pyramide verändert im Laufe der Zeit ihre Form, Struktur und Farbe - sie ist einer Umgebung ausgesetzt, die sie verschwinden lässt. Ohne weitere äussere Eingriffe löst sich die ursprüngliche Form der Pyramide auf und es kommt zu einem Zwischenstadium - eine zufällige Transformation, die schliesslich in der abstrakten Form eines „Schwarzen Quadrats“ aus Kohle einen anderen Ausdruck findet. Eine Abstraktion, die methaphorisch für den Klimawandel steht.

Die physische Transformation der Pyramide wurde über einem Zeitraum von 32 Stunden, immer vom gleichen Standort aus, bildlich festgehalten. Die daraus entstanden 64 analogen Fotografien bilden die Grundlage für die Installationen an der Wand. Je nach Grösse der Ausstellungfläche variiert die Anzahl der Fotografien.

Lee Mackinnon, Department of Photography, LCC

The first known image of a glacier was of Vernagtferner in the Austrian Ötztal Alps, painted in water-colour by Abraham Jäger in 1601. Watercolour paints are suspended pigment in a water-based solution that can be dissolved into pools of colour. For the painter, these pools simulate a world from which their very material was extracted. This kind of circularity is a remarkable and often overlooked aspect of the visual arts. One that becomes increasingly pertinent in an age of ecological emergency. The work of Stefan Shlumpf is an address to audiences in thrall to the modernist aesthetic: an audience mesmerised by beauty and simplicity at the expense of physical processes.

The distillation of complex material causality in these works acts as a subtle reminder of the detail we can so easily overlook in favour of effect. They are at once abstract representation and an implicit diagram of environmental collapse. The photography studio here is a field of action in which the means reflect the ends: blocks of CO2 hover and dissolve in memory of ancient archetypes, once recuperated by minimalist artworks: the untitled stacks of Donald Judd; the bricks of Piero Manzoni; the ice enclosures of Allan Kaprow. Previous works record the polypropylene wrapping of glaciers designed to limit the effects of the sun. Again, the works of Jean and Claude Christo are brought to mind. What is also brought to mind are the myriad ways in which humans have addressed, and ‘dressed,’ the landscape for their own consumption and pleasure. Or as a means of defending it from their own toxicity whilst accelerating its demise.