Resident artist at 1, Shanthi Road, Alfons Knogl describes his art as conceptual contemporary sculpture
When he heard of the residency programme at 1, Shanthi Road, Alfons Knogl thought it would be a good idea to see if there is some influence or progress that would come from the experience of the programme and staying in Bangalore.
Here too, the German artist has continued working with his two major bodies of work, making bowls and tables.
“I try to deal with pure form, often connected to interior design and I try to work with them as sculptures,” says the artist, who describes his art as conceptual contemporary sculpture. Alfons also works with music. “This is not the first time I have come to a new place as an artist, so I am trying to be cool about it because when I make new work I am in the danger of getting into clichés. I am here only for a few weeks, so I want to try and focus and let the influences come in so there’s a little change.” In a previous show in Cologne, Alfons had made six bowls to be exhibited. “They are all flat bowls, three of them have been made in marble and three in cement.” Though they may simply look like sculptural objects or pieces of art, Alfons says a lot of thought goes into them. “What I am interested in is that stone is the purest material on earth which comes from the core of the earth and in the exhibition it becomes one of the first forms of mankind though it is still pure,” explains Alfons, who is influenced by the social philosophy of “material culture”.
“I ordered the raw material from a website (alibaba.com) which sells bulk material at cheap rates. Though these marble blocks are shipped across the world, they cost less than the fresh marble made in Europe bought on location.” So the bowls, he says, could also represent globalisation. He also draws parallels between marble and cement which are essentially constituted the same, but cement is cheaper than marble and it represents something inexpensive. “But in the end you have six bowls in an aesthetic show.”
Talking about his series of tables, he says tables too are one of the first forms created by mankind though they could also be looked at as sculptural objects. Alfons works largely with coffee tables. “Coffee tables were created much later, they are not really functional as much as they are representative of something intellectual or a gathering. The three-legged table stood for open thinking after the world war.”
Alfons plays with the idea of the coffee table by working with standard sized legs available in the German supermarkets, putting a spontaneously carved wooden panel over them. He continued both series in India by working with cement bowls shaped like the large steel vessels used for cooking and tables with wooden tops and metal legs.
“India is such a vessel oriented culture. Vessels are everywhere around us even in spiritual or religious activities, but I don’t think Indians even recognise this. There are so many forms of vessels here but there are very few in Europe. Vessels in India are a spiritual symbol, connected to the link between body and mind. Though there is research on such knowledge, it seems to have become buried in the public consciousness.”
Alfons will be exhibiting his works at the 1, Shanthi Road Studio/Gallery from October 19 at 7 p.m. till October 23.
For details, contact 9880227706.