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Avalanche - Katinka Bock
31/08 - 09/11/19
Katinka Bock
Among her solo shows, we highlight “Radio/ Tomorrow’s Sculpture”, IAC (2018); “RADICETERNA”, Manifesta 12 (2018); “Smog”, Meyer Riegger (2017); “Horizontal Alphabet (black)”, MUCEM; “-0-0—0”, Mercer Union (2017). Held different prizes and grants from important institutions such as Fondation d’entreprise Ricard Prize (2012); Detroit Museum of Contemporary Art (2010) and Cité internationale des Arts (2007). On October 2019 the artist will hold a solo show at Centre Georges Pompidou, as part of Marcel Duchamp Prize. Her work is regularly featured in key media channels, such as Le Monde, Vogue, Beaux Arts Magazine, Frieze Magazine, Art Press, ArtForum, Artnet, among others.


The exhibition is about places where people live together, populations, problem zones, contact zones and tenderness, polluted bodies, loss of control, suspended moments, reasons to hold together. Cities are all different but the same. Paris and São Paulo, who cares, humans and animals, concrete and words, vessels and cracks, maybe it’s just a question of temperature and intensity. In the end it’s about dignity.

Katinka Bock


Pivô’s annual exhibition program finishes with the exhibition “Avalanche”, by Katinka Bock. This is the first time the Paris based, German artist presents her work in South America. The project is comprised entirely by new works informed by her recent visits to São Paulo, and by a thorough investigation of the building that houses Pivô, the iconic mixed-use giant Copan, projected by Oscar Niemeyer in the sixties. Bock will present a series of sculptures made out of bronze, ceramics, unfired clay and other materials, organic or inorganic, all recurring in her production. The opening will be held on August 31st, from 3 to 7pm, with free admission, until November 9th.


Bock’s work often responds to specific geographical contexts and space.  Taking into account the architectural, urban, social, climatic, temporal and environmental features of the place she is currently working in. Her works build an ongoing movement between the interior and the exterior of the spaces where they are installed, also affecting the social interactions that inform these places. The artist uses sculpture to address the relations between time and space, history and geography, natural and artificial, perennial and ephemeral. Interested in natural processes of transformation, Bock produces sculptures and installations that result from events that seem to challenge the chosen material, generating a symbiotic relationship between static artificial constructions and nature in constant motion. The artist frequently uses natural materials, such as leather, wood, stone, fabric, plaster, ceramic or graphite, in addition to found objects.


Displacements and catastrophes of another nature


“Avalanche” is the combination of a series of sculptures and spatial interventions inspired by Copan’s microcosm, in which the artist confronts her usual working materials with the local context and the space’s unusual architecture. Horizontal Words is perhaps the most radical gesture in the show, in which the artist drops a large block of unfired clay from the top of the building. Like a falling body, the piece will bare in its final form the violence of the impact of the raw matter on the ground. A type of violence that points out to the complex living conditions of a large and dysfunctional megalopolis like São Paulo. In which its high social injustices are often imprinted on the bodies of a great deal of its inhabitants. In another sculpture, Bock creates a mechanism to capture raindrops with a funnel connected to copper pipes running through the space. The water runs over the gallery, falling first into a sink borrowed from one of the apartments and then finds its way to the street again through a hole on Pivô’s floor.


In the work For Your Eyes Only, Katinka Bock stretches a 20 sqm piece of blue cloth on Copan’s rooftop. The fabric was placed during her visit to São Paulo in April, and after almost four months of exposure to the weather, it will be framed and hanged in the exhibition space, showing the marks of time passage. Bock’s will also present a group of ceramics made in a workshop at Centro Universitário Belas Artes and build a large hammock-like structure with a cut-off piece safety net wraps the entire building (Copan is under a renovation process for the past years). This kind of appropriation of elements of civil construction as starting point for sculptures and installation also will be seeing in Sand in which the artist crashes debris into tiny pieces until they are transformed in a kind of “sand”, as Bock calls it.


Literally, an avalanche refers to an abrupt and massive displacement of snow. As a figure of speech, however, the phenomenon refers to anything that strikes with violence. If the climatic conditions of a tropical country like Brazil do not allow the occurrence of real avalanches in its territory, catastrophes of another nature arise from the country’s political condition. Bock is interested in the changes these kinds of abrupt irruptions can provoke.


“Avalanche” was made possible by means of partnerships with the Institut Français and the Centro Universitário Belas Artes de São Paulo (Fine Arts University Center of São Paulo), that lent its ceramic workshops for the artist’s use.

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