Katja Strunz: Dynamic Fatigue Test (3 stars)

Katja Strunz: Dynamic Fatigue Test

Thought-provoking exhibition of metallic sculpture and works on paper

Metal fatigue is the progressive and localised structural damage that occurs when a material is subjected to cyclic loadings. Berlin-based artist Katja Strunz has set up fatigue tests in the gallery to determine how materials will hold up during repeated use over time. On show are deconstructed clocks in various stages of resisting physical stress.

As soon as it detects motion the sound of a stopped clock is disrupted by its entrails being dragged across the gallery floor. Strunz’s objects remain static until the fourth dimension of time is added by the viewer, raising questions about the materiality of time and observation of reality. If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?

One work consisting of 19th century clocks requires active intervention, another is effected by mere physical presence. Dials have been removed from clock faces and exhibited separately. Just as these materials absorb and resist physical stress it creates tension in the viewer’s body when startled by the sudden movement of the suspended wire system that pulls the contraption of found objects across the gallery.

In contrast to the hard-edged metal sculptures are the delicate works on paper. Through a much gentler approach the same angular shapes are echoed in two-dimensional collages. Tick tock.

The Modern Institute, Glasgow, until Sat 18 Aug.

Katja Strunz: Dynamic Fatigue Test

Exhibition of sculptures, focusing on the materials the sculptures are made of and their capacity to absorb stress.

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