Museum Haus Konstruktiv , Zurich, Switzerland 25 Oct 2018 - 13 Jan 2019
Robin Rhode, Nigerian Sands, 2018, C-Print, 12 parts. Courtesy the artist and kamel mennour, Paris/ London
The Museum Haus Konstruktiv present the solo show A Plan of the Soul by the eleventh winner of the internationally renowned Zurich Art Prize Robin Rhode. In his exhibition Rhode presents photographs, sculptures, and installation works that he has specially conceived or adapted for Museum Haus Konstruktiv.
The title A Plan of the Soul comes from Virginia Woolf’s 1929 essay A Room of One’s Own, in which she concluded that creativity can only develop in an androgynous mode of existence, whereby male and female parts of the soul blend harmoniously. An androgynous blend of male and female parts is evident in the two sculptural figures that Rhode has placed on the first floor of Museum Haus Konstruktiv: Untitled (Compass – Male & Female) shows two compasses, each as tall as a person, driven by a motor and rotating around their own axes. Differing from each other only in size, the drawing tools become a male figure and a female figure. However, they are neither given life nor a soul, until the observer approaches the sculptures, which are equipped with sensors. Thus, the observer dictates the speed of their rotations and becomes the choreographer of their interrelated movements. This Zurich exhibition provides insight into Rhode’s artistic practice that cleverly and humorously makes it possible to experience everyday observations, political statements, desires and references to art history – via gestures that sometimes resemble slapstick.
About the Artist
Robin Rhode, born in 1976 in Cape Town, has a firm footing in the international art scene. He began his career as an artist in 2003 by participating in the exhibition How Latitudes Become Forms at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis. Since then, his oeuvre has been characterized by a masterful combination of street art, painting, performance, film, photography and, most recently, sculpture, whereby the medium of drawing often forms the basis. For over fifteen years, Rhode has been living in Berlin, where he develops his art in an abandoned industrial building. Nevertheless, the history and current situation of his home country South Africa still play an important role. He frequently travels to Johannesburg, to immerse himself in the South African way of life. The streets and neighborhoods there offer him optimal conditions in which to implement ideas for his photographic works.