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Movement within stillness: with this paradox one could describe the exciting presence of the "Bogenskulpturen" of Susi Rosenberg. In sequences of tension and relaxation each structure unfolds into a wide arch, moving upwards into space, simultaneously opening and compressing it. As one walks around the cast iron, different aspects and details appear: shapes change, concentrating dynamic forces into stillness, enclosing space and opening it up again, suggesting endlessness of movement. Past associations with "found" objects, industrial components, must immediately be revised. Susi Rosenberg uses almost-identical elements, repeated part by part - the smaller pieces defining the dimensions of the bigger ones and also the proportional growth of the whole construction. Small mass determines both form and space: the presence of the sculpture creates its equal opposite in space, manifesting itself more in the space it defines than in the body of the sculpture itself. The minimal contact with the floor, and the extreme narrowing of the tip, give the impression of rising and emerging - and even, because of the economical use of material and the sculpture's firm lines, of separating from the ground. An opposite movement is effected by the scrunched, torn contours of the arches that rest on the ground. Solid, despite their tendency to spread; fixed, like the rising arches, in cast iron; they rest in a ground-connected heaviness.
The rhythmical construction of fragments is also a principle of the "Bodenskulptur" The sequential order of the seemingly-similar parts alludes to the duplication resulting from industrial mass production: yet the repetition of the shapes is effected not in the manner of industrial production, and not by the rules of metrical measure, alone - but also by the individualization of measure strikingly called, by Susi Rosenberg herself, "memory of the body." The minimal differences in the fine tuning of the pattern, as well as the optical illusion of suspension over the ground, counteract both the actual heaviness of the work and our initial impression of industrial production, and bring the sculpture to life.
The theme of the "Lehnungen" sculptures, in which the component parts grow increasingly individual, is a chain reaction where power is led back to itself. In the piece "Lehnung 5-teilig;" energy gains strength through the torso-like shape of the parts. This unique shape, drawing power back to itself, also brings stillness to the surrounding space.
The works of Brancusi could come to mind. For him, the proportionate size of things was fixed in things themselves. His "Unendliche Säule" suggests endlessness in the possibility of its determined continuation into sky as well as into earth, but its unchanged, fixed pattern renders it static.
The sculptures of Susi Rosenberg suggest endlessness within a movement that happens through a rhythmical sequence of individualized fragments, that takes place in a self-contained system, but also impacts the space around it. Through its own movement, the work is brought to stillness. Silence between the forms.
- Ines Kohl, translated by Ingred Wendt.
"When Japanese arrange flowers, the space between the flowers is considered, the shape of space between." - Ellen Bass.
You've been here before, your ears insist,
though you know it's not true,
there's nothing to count on - no vague
perk of the coffee pot, faraway
lawnmowers measuring tolerance –
how much space between small irritations
you used to call quiet
consoling as traffic
vibrations rocking the cells of sleep.
Alert as zinnias, sea anemones
poised for the least touch here,
in this cabin remote on this mountain
your ears put out feelers, any
moment a message, your ears
hollow as shells are on call:
Pine cone on roof!
Nuthatch checking the bark for bugs!
And what comes in between:
so sure of itself
nothing you do can
ignore it, escape it.
Whatever sound is next is yours.
- Ingrid Wendt. Published in the book Singing the Mozart Requiem.
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