Exhibition:

Raumplastische Gerüste: Christian Ruschitzka 11 April - 18 May 2024

Christian Ruschitzka’s new sculptural works dwell on the water cycle in life and in the transitory nature of everything in the primary form of the puddle. Puddles are often overlooked small  islands of water that can extend like an archipelago for quite some distances.  While islands are land masses surrounded by water and lakes are bodies of water surrounded by land, puddles, by their very nature, are transient, existing for mere hours.

  What if, however, a puddle could be preserved? What if it could be solidified and made everlasting? To investigate this concept of fixing the transitory, Christian Ruschitzka started by draining water out of several puddles outside his studio in Oberdrosen, Austria. He then heated molten aluminum until it reached a red-hot state before pouring it into molds in the ground. Although sculptures were formed, they lacked the smooth surface characteristic of a pristine puddle. After numerous experiments, he settled on creating a wooden maquette shaped with a hand axe to simulate a puddle. This maquette served as the basis for making an impression in a custom-made box filled with oil sand capable of withstanding molten metal. The resulting sculptures retained the serene, glassy surface of a flat liquid and were cast with root-like structures, allowing them to be placed in soil or on a lawn, resembling one’s personal puddle. The roots represent the hidden water channels, and mirror a plant form.

    If a puddle could be liberated from its transience and granted mobility, could it not be taken for a walk? People walk their dogs, so why not take your sculpture on a walk? This is a theme he has explored previously in his work. Inspired by this idea, Christian Ruschitzka, a veteran industrial design instructor at Vienna’s renowned University of Applied Arts – Angewandte, crafted self-balancing sculpture carts from bent steel rods. These carts allow the puddle to be taken on a walk. Designed based on line drawings, they also cast shadows that resemble the original drawings and subtly offset their balanced structure by changing their lengths and proportions as they move through space.

   The exhibition also features wooden maquettes freed from their use in puddle casting to become framed wall pieces, marking the completion of the puddle cycle as the transient becomes permanent artwork.

   Drawing inspiration from Édouard Glissant’s concept of archipelagic thinking, which values diversity over domination, Christian Ruschitzka sees all ideas, like empires, ultimately dissipating into puddles. The fluidity of thought, the mutability of our physical world, and an acceptance of impermanence are akin to a transient archipelago of puddles after a summer rain, here for a fleeting moment before vanishing.

(Photo Kunst Dokumentation, 2024)
(Photo Kunst Dokumentation, 2024)
(Photo Kunst Dokumentation, 2024)
(Photo Kunst Dokumentation, 2024)
(Photo Kunst Dokumentation, 2024)
(Photo Kunst Dokumentation, 2024)
(Photo Kunst Dokumentation, 2024)
(Photo Kunst Dokumentation, 2024)
(Photo Kunst Dokumentation, 2024)
(Photo Kunst Dokumentation, 2024)
(Photo Kunst Dokumentation, 2024)
(Photo Kunst Dokumentation, 2024)
(Photo Kunst Dokumentation, 2024)
(Photo Kunst Dokumentation, 2024)