Philipp Messner at Kunstraum München

Artist: Philipp Messner

Exhibition title: Darkness loves to hide

Venue: Kunstraum München, Munich, Germany

Date: February 21 – March 24, 2019

Photography: all photographs by Thomas Splett, copyright and courtesy of the artist and Kunstraum München

Under the mysterious title “Darkness loves to hide” Philipp Messner installed a selection of his magnetic objects in the Kunstraum München. The Italian sculptor seeks and uses diverse materials to his questions but also findings on topics such as change of the concept of individuality at the beginning of the digital age (keyword: control), the man-made change of its environment (keyword: anthropocene) or the fragility of political systems (keyword: populism) to give an adequate, mostly abstract “answer”. This form can be transitory and fluid, as his works with artificial and colored snow show, it can penetrate into solid structures, such as its staining samples of gypsum and marble or can have a monochrome-morphological shape covering familiar objects, such as his group of magnet works. This last group includes various found objects such as branches, stones, boxes, lamps, paper, a mask etc., wrapped with a magnetized material and covered with iron powder. Due to the magnetic force, the iron dust is bound to the carrier object, wherein the arrangement and orientation of the chips makes the force field.

The phenomenon of magnetism itself, the effect of invisible forces, used by Messner, without straining the charm of this mode of action. In this way, the sculptures change in the area of ​​the near and become to something new: the wood log, coated with iron powder, is transferred in a third condition and thus opens up to completely different readings of nature and technology: the artist materially combines both which ends where the material follows his physical determination.