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Erwin Redl


The CAC lobby is designed to bridge the inside and outside, creating a hybrid between art and experience. How does a semi-public space, outside the conventions of a gallery, effect the conception and design of your work?

Zaha Hadid’s lobby is very fascinating to work with. The nature of the architect’s extraordinary work already puts the lobby outside the realm of the pristine, self-contained White Cube. The encounter with art in this open context is much more direct and uninhibited. It provides a great opportunity to reach a wider audience beyond traditional gallery or museum visitors. The enormous scale and direct accessibility by the visitors requires quite sophisticated planning and engineering. At the same time the aesthetic core of my work is not genuinely influenced by the fact that it will be seen in that specific context.

What qualities of the building, organization and city influenced your work for the lobby, and what form/s did that reference take?

The building, its history and the wider context of the city plays an important role in the conception of the work. As the first building of the architect in the US it plays a special role in her ouevre and in American architectural history. The dynamic structure of the building and the attempt to open up the buidling to the surrounding area by utilizing large, multistory glass walls as well as the sloping Urban Carpet lead me to conceive something other than a monolithic work of art. The building is a dynamic system emphasized by its non-rectilinear layout and nontraditional use of materials. My installation also is a dynamic system with 160 pendula placed on the 107 foot high back wall. The work is part of my recent series of installations investigating emergence, the way complex systems and patterns arise out of a multiplicity of simple interactions. The interactions are not only between the physical objects of the installation but also between the visitors within the context of the art work.

Art is always a subjective experience, but in an ideal scenario, what do you hope audiences will take away from your work in the new CAC Lobby?

Especially with this installation I emphasize the depth of layers the work is comprised of, the time based nature of the work and the corporeality of the abstract, synchronized patterns that are unfolding. The artwork becomes a system to decipher not only intellectually but equally by simply moving as a sentient body through the space. From the tiniest detail of the installation to the large, overwhelming scale of patterns evolving on the 107 ft high and 90 ft wide wall, every aspect is equally important and can be examined by the visitors. Being open to shift persepective and scan through those layers of perception is probably the most important aspect of the installation. And that’s perhaps a good take away to consider.

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