From their pupils of light, two circles stare at the viewer, giving title to the first exhibition by Erika Hock at L21 Gallery. The series of sculptures she displays, some of them newly made, stand out for the subtlety of the shapes in space, light as a sculptural material and the harmony of color.
A chair in which it is not possible to sit suggests impossible, or at least really uncomfortable, body positions. The ideal and anonymous form, the instructions from Ikea, the eternal mould of mass production… in short, the Platonic idea of a chair is twisted in these works by Hock, which take as their reference the photo essay “Seeking comfort in an uncomfortable chair” (1944) by the Italian designer Bruno Munari. “One comes home tired after having worked all day and finds an uncomfortable chair…” He thus raised the also uncomfortable question of the balance between aesthetics and functionality in furniture design, a question to which art can freely answer.
From this twisting of the idea of a chair, table or lamp, Hock speaks to us in a language that is no longer tied to functionality, about the relationship with space and the constant interaction of the body with everyday objects. Like Munari, we could try to accommodate ourselves mentally in many different ways, to explore the field of possibilities opened up in these works by the artist before the watchful eyes whose curiosity still shines.
Hock’s practice is characterised by the fluid crossover in between sculptural and architectural elements, as well as a recent extended interest in tapestries and furniture that investigate meeting points between history, society and culture.
Erika Hock (Dschangi, Kyrgyzstan,1981) has been part of group exhibitions such as A-Scene III, at Wiels, Brussels, Skulptur at Produzentengalerie, Hamburg, as well as individual exhibitions such as Salon Tactile at COSAR HMT, Düsseldorf, The Phantom Table at Sofie Van de Velde, Antwerp, The People’s Cinema at Salzburger Kunstverein, Salzburg, What Bananas Say in the Salzburger Kunstverein, Austria, or The Seamstress, Her Mistress, the Mason and the Thief in Tenderpixel Gallery, London.