on Benjamin Hirte’s Diploma at Academy of Fine Arts Vienna

In his diploma exhibition, Benjamin Hirte concerns his work with compression as he manipulates and positions aluminum and steel.  Upon completing his academic studies at the University of Fine Arts Vienna in the class of Heimo Zobernig, Hirte tactfully sets his work projecting a demur and cogent aesthetic.

Shaping aluminum and steel into representations of parts from industrial sieves, Hirte effects gravity and indicates to the lightness of air.  Long rectangular poles with curving edges connect one to another, or press against the wall or floor.  In the molding of raw material, Hirte demonstrates his veneration of each essential matter.  He cites mechanical fabrication and societal utilitarian functioning both in each structure’s appearance and in including an industry produced grid laying upon a deliberate shape.  So doing, he appends formation, production, and contextualization into the inherent physical matter of  the functioning of his forms.

In addition to metal, Hirte employs a selection of other materials.  One cardboard box sits on the floor with available take-away inkjet print folders in an edition of 300.  On one wall hangs a single glossy colored print of an amalgamation from graphics of critical book covers.  There is also a bit of scotch tape hinging bands of metal together evincing a ‘so what’ ethos.  That is, so what if he uses a little bit of plastic?  That it is a petroleum bi-product and probably the most ancient material available does not matter.  Likewise, the introduction of soap is a deft move.  One bloc of soap pins down a metal rod to support a work. The waxy milky translucent substance is precisely another of Hirte’s double-entendres, an overt symbol of seduction and also an allegory of the human imperative to cleanse.

Removing the room’s wooden baseboards, Hirte kept only the reference to the building’s historic architecture.  Dealing with such considerations and removing possible distractions, Hirte intends each of his slights to be viewed.

Bildhauerateliers, Kurzbauergasse 9, 1020 Wien

28.1.2011 – 2.2.2011

-Ezara Spangl

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