Mariel reports from Boris Nieslony's studio, Cologne

On Saturday we had to change hostel, a change Sinead and I greatly appreciated, even though, loaded with suitcases, we had to walk for 20 minutes only to discover that we arrived at the wrong hostel. A phone call and a cab solved the problem and we even managed to be allowably late to meet Boris. We visited the Dom (Cathedral) also called “The Battleship of God”, we were impressed but discontented with the experience. The Dom was full of tourists (like us) distracting us from getting an aesthetic experience. Then Boris took us to St. Martin church, peacefully bare in comparison with the Dom, that gave us some rest. We strolled along the beautiful streets of Cologne until we got to the Rhine River, where we had lunch before heading to Boris’ studio. We walked off the train and we walked under an overcast sky past the buildings surrounded by gardens with grass and bare lichened green trees. Familiar metal shelves with filing cardboard boxes dominated the room, there was a work table with a stack of papers to be filed, magazines with cut out illustrations, ready to be incorporated into Boris’ progressive archive of images. Sinead and I were in awe by this accumulative spectral archival process. Does he ever live? For him life is art enough.

There is a second room most of it is occupied by different tables put together and on top there raises a glass mandala made of various glass objects: mirrors, glass spheres, magnifying glass, lenses from cameras and reading glasses, glass vases, pieces of broken glass of all shapes and forms from various objects adjusted on the wall to catch the light. As a result, a different view opens from each angle expanding the viewer’s perception of glass as material to embrace the infinite possibilities of its forms, and yet, within this fragmented glass composition there are whole objects, such as two hidden sculptures of Virgin Mary, the world map with a dead frog on it etc, that are meticulously arranged to interact with other parts of the whole, perhaps, to give it a contextual clue. In between the sheets of glass there is an owl image attached by clamps, threads of yarn, and old auto part… I could not help looking for more recognizable objects, for more clues. They are there, weaved into a multitude of abstracted imagery that the glass keeps creating like in perpetuum mobile of reflection, as long as there is light and shade.


Fri 16 Mar 2012

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