Ian Waelder

11 September - 13 November, 2014


L21 Gallery Madrid proudly announces After a Hippie Jump, a one person exhibition by Ian Waelder. This project revolves around his experience on a skateboard and his perseverance attempting different tricks, falling many times and his will power to get up and continue.


When faced with a skateboard the easiest thing is not to get on it. However some decide to skate, substitute their feet for wheels, change the perspective of where they are and accelerate movement. Once balance, gravity and the order of urban movement are challenged, there’s no going back. The only possibility is to continue, advancing towards a more natural way of skating, a better balance during the run and try new tricks. The ambition not to repeat trite and old formulas grows as well. An irresistible need to continue and improve, changing common laws of movement in the city and trying to always do it a little better.  Fall as many times as it takes to learn and start all over again. Whisper between your teeth “ if I fall five times, I get up six.”


A piece of sandpaper, which is what keeps the skater’s feet stuck to the board,  peeps out in one corner of the ceiling. A fold and an absence which indicates a period of learning. On the other side, the sculpture on the floor which is supported on white bricks shows a higher will to go further: an unbridled eagerness to better oneself. Get over the cardboard tube with a hippie jump. Continue skating means increasing the difficulty to push the limits.


A hippie jump consists of jumping over an obstacle while the skateboard continues moving underneath and to land with both feet and continue going. A beaten cardboard tube presides the space and activates the dialogue with the whole exhibition. The term after shows that something has happened: the sculpture has random markings brought about by being in the street and afterwards in the artist’s studio. It’s not only about starting, but about raising the bar and recognizing the scars left by earlier falls. Artistic learning works in the same way: try, fail and try again. What’s important comes after the fall.

 Look, think and lots of doing.  On the irregular cork we see a hard wall with sharp bricks. It’s a surface which has witnessed many extremely fragile experiences and even painful ones. Should one try and overcome even this limit? Can we imagine what this wall hides underneath its apparent crudeness? When someone skates everyday he sees his surroundings in a different way, deciphering whether what he finds on his run can be used for a new acrobatic trick.


Ian Waelder impregnates himself with the history of the materials he uses almost sticking himself to them; he works with photographic images as a documents as well as a supports. His practice interrogates suburban culture from his memory. The artist experiments and collects experiences.  With A hippie Jump he claims to surpass the difficulties and be at peace, hoping to reap a fragile instant on the point of disappearing.