DIE SCHWIMMERIN/ THE SWIMMER
Curator: Milada Slizinska
Asta Groting, born in Herford, Germany in 1961, now lives and works in Berlin. She has shown in several group exhibitions since 1985, in particular Aperto, Venice Biennale, 1990; eighth Sydney Biennale and "passageworks" at the Rooseum, Malmo, Sweden in 1993.
Asta Groting's work presents an interesting progression of ideas through its very precise and sensitive materialisation. Her early sculptures show a fascination for mineral and organic materials which are usually combined to form important volumes with strong physical presences.
Groting's sculptures and videos suggest continual flow and movement although no material transition actually takes place. Some early works took the form of bottomless glass vessels or large regular circular tubes constructed of conveyor belts and they transmit the notion of continual movemet and the impossibility of fixed physical content.
It is the most evident in her "well" pieces that circles in her work not only imply circular movement, but as with "Filling Holes with Holes" (1992), also extend into space and depth. Yhey probe the Source, the common origin of all creative processes. "Affentanz 1" (1987) demonstrates that the pure circle is a dance: it playfully marks out the open space and moves from impulse to impulse in the wake of its unfathomable secret.
The video work "Die Schwimmerin" shows a lone synchronised swimmer "walking" on the roof of the sea. The screen is a glistening grey, silver rippled surface when suddenly the souls of a pair of feet gently emerge from the surface and slowly cross the screen. Like some strange see creature the swimmer's half-obscured body is submerged below the surface as she attempts to walk on water, strolling across its inverted surface. As with other works of Groting illustrating the power of the circular form, the swimmer at times breaks through the surface with her arms or legs while revolving her body below creating a series of rings, like whirlpools, extending across the screen. The feeling the viewer has isa of gradual vertigo watching her defy gravity and the tide.
The works mentioned above; "Filling Holes with Holes" and "Affentanz 1" can be seen as part of the group exhibition "Leiblicher Logos" now on view in the Gallery 1 and 2.