• Traces of BoreasTraces of Boreas

About the floor installation
"Traces of Boreas"

Shaping of the past

This is the topic of Christa Gebhardt´s work "Traces of Boreas". The artist joins together eighteen plates in such a way that they, slightly shifted from one another, form three rows.

The starting point of the work were large weathered slates over 100 years old that a strong north wind had blown down from Christa and Johannes Gebhardt´s house. Christa Gebhardt refers directly to this event when she gives her works the name of the god of wind of the Greek mythology, thus raising the chance event into a timeless dimention. Additionally, just by the naming of her work she expresses which natural force has triumphed over the human beings. This unique and also accidental event of blowing down receives durability through art; for the artist does not leave it as it is, but uses this event as the starting point of her work "Tracing the Clay" which was the result of an unlimited, but also of an anonymous power. The clay records the outline and surfaces of the slates and records up the traces of weathering process. The work of art is a highly aesthetic matter; for the traces that have been left by the time and circumstances, and their imprint are beautiful in their individuality. What takes place on the individual plates, are the accidentally, but, nevertheless, secretly created signs of a finiteness that has now been transformed into eternity.

Christa Gebhardt arranges these plates on the floor, she does not arrange them, i. e. as wall pictures. Sculptures of the kind created by the artist ask more about their relationship to the enviroment, surroundings empty space. The relationship of the floor sculpture to the observer is reserved. By being positioned on the floor, the sculpture is a part of it, a modification of the soil, corresponding with it. Moreover, the way the light falls on the piece differs from a piece of art hanging on the wall. On the one hand, it raises the relief from the soil, on the other hand it levels the "representations" imprinted on the plate. Such an artistic procedure might tempt the observer to regard and judge the reliefs only under aesthetic points of view. Christa Gebhardt, however, intends more; for her clay plates are not only beautiful items of art produced by the influence of nature – which they are, indeed – but also an indication to the phenomenon of passing, and at the same time of its overcoming. Her piece of art is the attempt to portray the traces of the time and of the seasons of the year. Moreover, an attempt to maintain something from transitoriness.

Gerhard Gerkens