Dust and its Counterweight 2, 2009
polyester wool, powder, shoes, socks, wood, doll´s house, 72 x 59 x 123 cm
polyester wool, powder, masks, stool, wood,
136 x 51 x 141 cm
Selbdritt is based on the representation of Anna Selbdritt, who, as mother of Maria and grandmother of Jesus, was very popular during the middle age until the renaissance. The Selbdritt motiv appears in different variations both in painting and sculpture. The figures of the three are often stacked on top of each other which triggered my attention.
I started my Selbdritt sculpture by reflecting about the mysterious influence my ancestors have on me. Also in my interpretation the younger one sits on the lap of the older one. The two adult figures grasp with their hands inside the back of the one in front. They act like puppet player.
There is a distinct movement away from the static sitting figure towards the child. This movement ends in the stretched out hand of the child that holds a mask of a sheep.
The surfaces of the adult figures look dusty. The child is rose, just a bit dusty. All the figures wear the same blank masks.
Imaging the Future, 2008
polyester wool, fabric, torch, powder,
artificial grass, 120 x 200 x 400 cm
While approaching the installation, a small figure in a camouflage dress is seen. It sits on an elevated piece of artificial grass carpet. The face is directed to the wall. On the wall is a bright light circle. The scenery looks idyllic like a figure looking at a moonrise at the ocean.
By walking around this situation, it becomes clear that the childlike figure holds a torch in one hand creating the shining light itself. With this other arm it stems itslef up through the ground. The extended arm reaches through the plane and a dark empty space is created beneath. The short legs of the figure hang down.
Small Cart, 2008
brooms, feathers, nest, wood, chalk, cart,
height app. 220 cm
Small Cart carries turned brooms. The horesehair of the brooms is extended with feathers. On the surface of the black plate there is a chalk drawing – the shape of a child. On one side of the plate a bird´s nest fills a hole.
cotton parachute, paper, red dress,
size app. 45 x 500 x 500 cm
I wrapped a cowered figure in a huge parachute. On the back of the figure we see red straps, but in the close up they are cut outs of the parachute. Through the cuts the red dress of the figure is visible.
In front of the crouching figure the opulent drapery of the parachute expands on the floor. Above this flood small black paper birds hover.
Traces of Pain
Three things are particularly noticeable in Rennert´s work, and each is worth being remarked upon. First there is the pointed ambivalence, which is articulated both in a title like „Escape on the Spot“, and in her choice of materials ranging between the opposites of hard and amorphous. The second is the latent aggressiveness or brutality, which runs like a theme through Rennert´s work, like a trace of pain. One feels it all the more in the piece described above, in which, at the presumable head of the bed, a length of black mesh synthetic cloth has been thrown over the construction like a widow´s veil. And third, with “Escape on the Spot“ an increasing orientation towards the figurative begins to make itself felt.MICHAEL HÜBL, KUENSTLER – Kritisches Lexikon der Gegenwartskunst, 2014
Escape on the Spot 4, 2007
polyester wool, lace, powder,
125 x 116 x 160 cm
Seven legs support the body of this female figure. Is she kneeling down or elevating herself up?
The Figur is made of white polyester wool, covered with white lace. She looks both dressed and naked. A black lace hood covers her head, black lace gloved her arms and hands. The feet are dusted and look dirty.
Clever Elsie, 2007
net, bells, polyester wool, powder, elastic,
Clever Elsie was inspired by the Grimms tale with the same title. The unlucky heroine loses her self-identification by getting attached to net with bells while she sleeps. The strange sound around her when she awakes with the net and bells brings her to question who she is: Is it me or is it not me?
Clever as she is she does not answer that question herself, but carries the question around asking other people. Full of despair she runs away.
This black bodily exterior, by the way, is evidence of the significance Rennert allocates to displaying conditions and mental states in place of narrative elements in her work.MICHAEL HÜBL, When blossoms bleed, 2008, DEM STAUB EIN GEGENGEWICHT, VERLAG MODERNE KUNST
Dust and its Counterweight 1, 2007
child’s chair, poyester wool, cardboard, powder, 76 x 50 x 120 cm
A life size figure sits on a child´s chair which is missing one leg. Both legs of the figure end in one foot. The left arm holds the legs and keeps the whole body together. The right hand is as small as a child´s hand. The head is inside a cardboard box. All surfaces beside the small hand are dusted with grey powder.
Escape on the Spot 3, 2006
wooden chair, fabric, polyester wool, lamp,
A wooden chair is flipped over, the legs being forced apart hold the chair in balance. On one leg sits a babylike figure with a pink jersey surface, it is blindfolded. In front of the sculpture a 300 Watt bulb casts a huge shadow on the wall. In the shadow image the baby falls through the frame of the chair.
rubber, styrofoam, light-bulb, battery,
93 x 76 x 85 cm
In his novel Von Liebe und Finsternis Amos Oz tells the story of an apartment that is built inside a mountain. The Mountain gets the character of a bachelor: a heavy, introverted and silent neighbour, an old and melancholic mountain with the habits of a bachelor: silent, dark and humid.
First the small tunnel that leads inside my “Bachelor” is perceived as dark. But if the spectator kneels down, makes himself small, he discovers a small light deep inside. With the two paws stretched out like a wildcat, the mountain has a relaxed, introverted peacefulness.
I Drink your Flower, 2005
fabric, artificial roses, polyester wool, metal,
171 x 46 x 57 cm
The development of this sculpture happened under the influence of a report of a torture victim. The torture is the cutting off of the hands.
The notion that humans cut off the hands of other humans is terrifying, nevertheless this practice is happening.
During the work on the sculpture, I discovered the Grimm´s tale “Girl without Hands”. Here a girl loses her hands through the action of her father and goes through a transformation process. The process guides her away from her father and towards herself. Like in many tales the hero/heroine needs to go through an initiation or transformation process in order to become a full human being.
The artist contrasts the gentle, the mild and cuddliness, holding the promise of natural harmony and serenity, with the shock of destruction. The shock irritates and does so with a dual impact, because the very shock itself has an element of vulnerability in it. Rennert´s work „I drink your Flower“ (2005) displays the irreconcilability of discordant emotional and semantic impulses exemplarily.MICHAEL HÜBL, When blossoms bleed, 2008, DEM STAUB EIN GEGENGEWICHT, VERLAG MODERNE KUNST
Among other devices, she adopts the constrasting confrontation, as can be seen in her artwork “Delight in Disorder” . There a toy figure of plastic in a science-fiction outfit meets up with the wool creature recalling an archetypal mother which was mentioned briefly at the beginning. Even if the female figure appears to be made of plucked wiping rags, even though she is grey, fibrous and awkward and sits there cumbersomely, it is apparent that she is superior to the figure she holds, apparent that her real power resides within her.
The many pointed flame swords, monster grenades and Rambo armour of the small warlike man seem trivial in comparision to the infinite calm of the figure made out of poor materials, measuring just 39 centimeters.MICHAEL HÜBL, WENN BLÜTEN BLUTEN, 2008, DEM STAUB EIN GEGENGEWICHT, VERLAG MODERNE KUNST
Puppets and dolls are an integral part of early magic-charm inventories. They are, as human and animal revenants, the enigmatic guests of dark interiors. The fear of their coming to life and their potential to work evil upon us testifies even today to the remnants of a once unbroken magical relation to the world deeply ingrained within us.EUGEN BLUME, The Fate of inward waiting IN the FIGUres of NADINE RENNERT, 2008, DEM STAUB EIN GEGENGEWICHT, VERLAG MODERNE KUNST
All of Nadine Rennert´s figures seem to be overcome by inward waiting, although only two of her sculptures bear this title. The half-length figure of a female bust with the simple name of “Girl with Fur” is executed of beige-coloured suede and set on a glass base. it serves as a fitting example of a figure waiting to be transformed into an animal, as the already advancing growth of fur along its arms seems to suggest. The rough, leathery skin, like an animal pelt turned inside out, seems to be taken by surprise with the covering of dense fur just like the famous “Fur Teacup” by Merkt Oppenheim. One could comprehend the fur as a metaphor for inward waiting or, to be more precise, to feel it in an uncanny way.Eugen Blume, The Fate of inward waiting in the Figures of Nadine Rennert, 2008, Dem Staub ein Gegengewicht, Verlag Moderne Kunst