Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Conceptual sculptor JENS RISCH 
patiently knots kilometers of silk 
threat to product a highly 
concentrated and dense 
object the size of a fist. 
In some cases the resulting
 “Silk Piece” took four years 
to complete. Additionally 
the artist has kept a diary 
scrupulously recording the 
work he performs every day 
for several hours. This recording 
allows RISCH to draw inventories 
of the methods he uses and 
of quantifying how much work 
he has carried out, in what 
time and with what results.
His minimalist sculpture seeks 
to reduce artistic intervention
as far as possible. His methodical 
and repetitive work on matter 
betrays no signs of formal planning. 
The shape of RISCH’s objects 
exclusively depends on the 
characteristics of the material 
chosen and on the physical 
tension produced during 
the tying process.
RISCH’s knots, then, 
are a way of testifying 
to the infinitely slow 
passing of time and of 
recording it. The final 
shape of his works is a 
sort of coagulated time. 
The sculptor focuses on 
the pure and simple act of 
tying knots, refusing to 
resort to any system that might 
accelerate his work. The result 
is a creative process that seems 
to find its founding value in slowness.
Each work of the “Silk Piece” 
consists of a single silk 
threat about one kilometre in 
length, which the artist has woven, 
knot after knot, into an inextricable 
tangle: “I tie knots on a 
thread until no more can 
be tied“. By the end of the 
first phase of this work, 
the thread has already 
been shortened by one 
third of its original 
length. A second phase 
then begins in which 
Risch continues tying 
his knots. The end product 
is a result from a series 
of passages. The artist 
describes these different 
phases as “generations”: 
an allusion to the field 
of biology that by 
invoking the idea 
of filiation illustrates 
the various phases in the creation of the work.
and works in Berlin: more
on his website

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