K o n g l o m e r a t

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Lebenselixier-St.Jakob 15----------- Gleichgewicht am Greifensee

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----------------------------das Schwert 13-----------------------------i die Schichtung 13-

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mea culpa 12--- --- der Dialog 09

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------------------------- Tuchamid 97--------------------- Gensprung 90--

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-Party 666

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Humour and sculpture-----

Scarcely, you might think first. And you might also think of all the serious sculptors that you know. And you are probably thinking of the heaviness of the material, especially in stone sculptors and the hardship of working with this material. You think of the heavy boulders, as they themselves usually are. You think maybe of Hans Aeschbacher or the great Constantin Brancusi whose studio I recently contemplated at the Centre Pompidou, far away from a smile. Since Jean Tinguely has been his neighbour temporarily, I know that he was just as little funny as his sculptures are grave, perfect wangled for the eternity. Tinguely and humour – sure. Scrap makes careless. The easiest way perhaps makes it the most popular sculpture ever: The garden gnome. Here, humour is provided, in all shades. Also Tinguely has spurned it in no way, since his “Plateau Agriculturel" they not only spun on rusty dance floors. And Paver Schmidt, he killed them with his blasting operation. You realize what I am driving at considering Paul Sieber’s work. As I googled in vain for his date of birth, I came across his birthplace, at least. And now it will be fun. It is called Burgistein and is situated somewhere between Bern and Fribourg. This is where Paul Sieber was born. And then he became just stone sculptor.The name Burgistein appeared for the first time in the mid-13th century. 1259 Jordanus de Tuno acquired the reign of Burgistein. In a promising location where the castle still is located, Jordan Burgistein as he called himself from then on founded a castle. This reign lasted until 1340. The stronghold of Burgistein was totally destroyed by the Bernese and the Crossbowman Ryffli killed Jordan by an arrow. The descendants remembered this deed, and since 1925 the traditional Ryfflischiessen takes place annually in May. The present construction dates from the 16th century and went on to Juliana von Wattenwyl 1717. She brought the rule into the marriage to Emanuel von Graffenried and since then the castle and goods remained to this date in possession of this family.As main proof of my wild assertion, I feature to the collection of arms from stone, which the stone sculptor sculptured from granite a few years ago and which he headed as “useless”. As an armoury-specialist I have to say that the Wattenwyl’s and Graffenried’s probably did not preserve the cut and thrust weapon arsenal, the arrows and spears from their forefathers like that. It can be assumed that the youngling visited the castle more than once and probably participated in the Ryfflischiessen. Since then he shifts set pieces of the castle and of his memoriesOf course he searches his materials with accuracy; of course he does not work with Objets trouves from the river Gürber, on the contrary, but he kept his castle-game and building-friends. Of course he won’t recreate the castle but he delivers parts thereof. Ironically broken, just humorous. He can create objects of stone, which make somebody smile and chuckle – from a material that we would not have expected. Look at his “Landing”. A meteorite like the new Airbus or Jumbo, much too heavy to fly but congealed in peppy beauty at the landing. That a stone can cast up so soft and perfect in form, I have never seen that by any stretch of the imagination.It is hard to be serious. These cones on the invitation card, which were not grouped on a chessboard but on a grid of armouring iron, what else can they be other than a parody? The satirising of the sovereignty of the game of kings – and an edgier comment on the concrete-architects of today’s world? Then the whole issue is called auspiciously “Party 666”, but it certainly does not invite to barbecue. Rather, the famous Bernini sculpture comes to my mind, where the white marbled Christian martyr Laurentius was truly roasted. For our professors a highfalutin paradigms shifts, for me involuntary humour.Once again flippancy (Max Ernst mastered the rare things as well). Let’s look at the drawings. Here the knight’s move between material, tradition, weight and parody is missing. That every good sculptor needs a good drawer in itself is an art history truism. Drawing is quasi the contrast in the ephemeral, sketchy, fragmentary. It is a pure playground. Paul can do it. And between the half emptiness of the sheets and the earthbound sculpture gapes that airy space that is reserved for the arc of suspense of creativity and imagination.As in the form of painting, which the artist calls carefully “Tableau” and it is first of all for the colour search, the humour and the childhood memories of the castle living seem at the moment far away. Here the artist competes with abstract conditions – he does not grind at the origin. This permits him to perfect his facility and levity, to find the form distance. And this allows his humour to be fine, never around loud or heavily built, that his figures exude something faun like “fairy tales”, which brings us to Shakespeare yet again to the castles. But I is for pure poetry. ------