“The found footage is often no more than an impulse that is no longer discernible in the further development of the shape. Analogous to photography, my objects are three- dimensional snapshots. The characters are frozen in movement and often cropped along imaginary image borders. I transport the fragmented character of photos into the third dimension. Simultaneously, when dealing with color and options of shaping, painterly characteristics appear. Thus, the life-sized special interventions are formally attributed to sculpture but are equally part of painterly and photographic categories.”—Gregor Gaida
Gregor Gaida – Artist Statement
Trigger and motive of my work are the friction and unease that arise from the contradictions in current and historical context. In my continuing examination of the events of the day, artistic concepts are developed that congeal into single images. The basis is often formed by photographs I find in magazines, books and other visual media.
The focus of my interest lies on composition and the protagonists’ pose in the images, as well as the openness in interpreting their actions. A special meaning lies in the gesture that indicates cultural, social or political discrepancies. From my inner mindset which states that any man can develop in many directions as long as he is subjected to certain conditions, the idea originated to extract single elements from the photographs and crop them from their context. Thus isolated, the images’ original message collapses and turns into a different, or many different, possibilities of association. The found footage is often no more than an impulse that is no longer discernible in the further development of the shape. Analogous to photography, my objects are three-dimensional snapshots. The characters are frozen in movement and often cropped along imaginary image borders. I transport the fragmented character of photos into the third dimension. Simultaneously, when dealing with color and options of shaping, painterly characteristics appear. Thus, the life-sized special interventions are formally attributed to sculpture but are equally part of painterly and photographic categories.
The single elements are taken from reality, but I have altered them or taken them from their context. The result remains a translation of reality. The sum of my perception is concentrated in a new shape that is different from the original reality but equivalent to my inner point of view. The works reflect reality in two ways. On the one hand, they relate to it by being an object in space. On the other hand, they reproduce the ambiguity of reality for the meaning is not delivered along with the shape. Every work stands for itself, but relations between them can be established. I repeatedly take on different thematic strings which I also combine with each other.
The “flag” for example is screen for and symbol of identity and ideology on a personal and national level. It has influence on our self- and outside-perception. Its ambivalent character combines positive notions such as security, tradition, group affiliation, culture, self-esteem with a greater ensemble, but also negative ones like fundamentalism, bondage, peer pressure, war and governmental affectation of sovereignty. In these and other constellations, the „pathos“ is deliberately debilitated and turned into the subject of irony. In my work, the motive of the child is a symbol not only for what is in the present but also always for what will be in the future and therefore stands for duration. The impact of a symbolic action is perceived in the present and remains perceivable for a long time. The main motive of the life- sized sculptures is the human being. Its depiction is detailed and lifelike but not photorealistic. Clothes, hair and body remain stylized to a certain degree and the anatomy is often distorted. The material is wood, aluminum, polyester and acrylic resin.
The surrounding space becomes material just as the wood or the color. In the combination of different material, their points of contact have a special meaning. And in the same way does my dialogue and interaction with the material as the single works are derived from a sensory process of creation. The single works can be examined from different perspectives such as theme, materiality, shape or composition. The emphasis varies with each work. Some works are dominated by the material through their haptics and specific visual appearance, their manufacturing process and qualities. In others, the theme as a symbol or story is in the foreground. Many of my works combine positively charged components which in their sum and constellation, however, have a negative impact.
The often aestheticized shape and the object-like character of my works in inconsistent with a narrative. The image I create wavers between attraction and repulsion. The narrative character of the figurative, however, plays a vital role. I tell stories without spelling them out. Merely the possibility of a story is suggested. The created moment is chosen in such a way that it is not, yet, decipherable. The connection and spaces between persons, motives, signs and symbols are open and undefined and so from an allegory of the events of present, past, and future, days.