Liam Gillick, Kinetic Energy of Rigid Bodies

22 April - 6 June 2021

Kunst-Station Sankt Peter, Cologne


Liam Gillick

Liam Gillick, Kinetic Energy of Rigid Bodies, 2021, matte black vinyl on wall, photo: Christopher Clem Franken.
In his large-format wall graphic “Kinetic Energy of Rigid Bodies” for the Sankt Peter Cologne art station, Liam Gillick brings abstract thinking and figurative representation, pain and rationality together.
Over the past twenty years, the British artist, who is known for both his minimalist works and his critical-reflective “dematerialized” working methods as a writer and critic, has compiled an extensive archive of medieval prints, which he uses as large vinyl graphics for comments Consumption and production conditions supplemented.
In the Sankt Peter art station, Gillick shows the motif of the wound man, known from medical-surgical manuscripts and prints of the late Middle Ages. At exactly the point where Peter Paul Rubens' “Crucifixion Petri” usually shows the most agonizing moment of martyrdom, Gillick's Wound Man ponders with a stoic expression on the basis of a formula of classical mechanics about the kinetic energy of rigid bodies. The sitter shows his gruesome injuries caused by numerous knives, spears and other tools and weapons on his naked body, although his face is marked by a strange expression of indifference. “I like the combination of ecstatic suffering and practical use. That strange long period of human history
“Kinetic Energy of Rigid Bodies” is a game with the opposites of modes of representation, expectations and thought patterns in science, religion and art. Gillick's contribution is the third position in the exhibition series “Replace Rubens”, in which artists such as Gerhard Richter and Walid Raad re-use the south east wall during the restoration phase, on which Peter Paul Rubens' Crucifixion Petri (1638–1640) normally hangs. 
Invited by Anne Mager

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