Incubators | back

Udo Rutschmann, Incubatoren,
Text: Birgit Hoeppl
Translation: Dominique Leutwyler
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| Incubators | Self. World. Memory

White ceramic objects on the wall, rectangular, arranged in pairs. They are of a pleasant size, each almost one meter tall, slightly more than half a meter wide. Solid objects, obviously fired, with a shining surface. Gentle risings and immersions create relief structures. No superficial narrative.

The corpulent plates of Udo Rutschmann have something incidental, they flatter themselves without ingratiating into one's perception. In their unobtrusive presence they assert themselves. Reduced to white and free of visible manual interventions, allowing an unrestricted view, even though the texture of the surface opens up a wide range of associations.

Landscapes unfold themselves. Volcanic cones and flat craters, peaks like dripstones, small pools. One might think of inflorescences a cluster of flowers and shapes of leaves. Or of bodies, especially due to the irregularities. The mental connections can certainly not be captured. Too ephemeral are the forms. One feels a strong urge to touch the boards. The subtle coolness and the rough curvatures want to be experienced.

But what exactly has been transformed into ceramics? A melting process obviously, where drops and liquid progressions become identifiable. The pure aesthetic of the final product incorporates a long transformation procedure, which without knowing about the formation cannot be reconstructed.

Using simple materials from the do-it-yourself store, the artist creates a kind of incubator: a box made out of wood fibre containing light bulbs, cable, connector strip and holes is prepared on the ground. Instead of a hard cover he closes his 'incubators' with solid wax panels. And switches on the electricity. For a long time nothing happens. Only slowly the air in the box is heated. Becomes hot, wants to escape, the solid wax layer eases off at the hottest spots, it drops onto the light sources, it steams, smells, fizzes. Boys' fun! A physical experiment? An attempt to bring time and energy into form, into a picture. Calculation is part of the game. Rutschmann does not intend to exhibit the process, rather he shows his artistic intervention. He decides when his self-constructed creation process comes to an end.

As if limiting his own field of action, he surrounds the relief-like landscapes of memory. The wax is casted in plaster. The plasterboards are used for the transformation into ceramics. The handicraft character of the plaster is transferred into the cool appearance of the burnt objects on the wall.
By means of an additional wafer-thin layer of porcelain, they obtain their subtle lightness. The double casting –the original wax board is reflected in the negative of the plaster, which again is identical to the positive form of the initial board. The paired presentation of both conditions allows an insight into the sculptural skills and they open up space. Sliding the view back and forth allows choices, keeps the mind moving.

Looking at the reduced retentiveness of the final ornamental product, the wild alchemistic hustle inside Rutschmann's incubators is merely a divining dimension.

From the topographies of the melted-out wax terrains and the power of the accumulated energy of melting and firing processes lasting for hours, the artist allows himself to be carried further. In his own cosmos he moves ahead. Developing series of drawings, graphic investigations based on the auto-generated topology. By means of a special printing technique, he transfers parts of the ceramic surfaces onto paper. As if trying to find suitable systems for the self-created worlds, he applies grids and embeds the two-dimensional reliefs into holding coloured areas of graphite, providing stability by spatial limitations using a white correction pen. The studied architect Rutschmann, who is still able to reach back to manual equipment beyond elaborated computer programs, sneaks alongside the artist. In precise knowledge of historic role models, not only in concrete but also in constructive arts, he tries to lead his topics into profundity through serial circumnavigation.
Using an old typewriter, fragments of text are added onto the sheet, 'scientific prose' as he himself calls it. In wide loops, the physical, philosophical set pieces surround his world of ideas, without wanting to be decrypted.

Inside the incubators the artist creates his own piece of world, which as a centering force of gravity allows him to silently draw further circles.

 

Incubators | back

 

Incubators | back

Material: White Clay| Porcelain
Engobed | glazed
Size: 55 x 90 x 4 cm
Weight: ca. 35 kg

 

Incubators | back

Material: White Clay| Porcelain
Engobed | glazed
Size: 55 x 90 x 4 cm
Weight: ca. 35 kg

 

Incubators | back

Material: White Clay| Porcelain
Engobed | glazed
Size: 55 x 90 x 4 cm
Weight: ca. 35 kg

 

Incubators | back

Material: White Clay| Porcelain
Engobed | glazed
Size: 55 x 90 x 4 cm
Weight: ca. 35 k

 

Incubators | back

Detail