Excerpt from "The activation of the object" (see texts)
What is specific about Helwing’s approach can be described and exemplified with a look at his work Axial / The Eye.
In the spatially delimited part of the Museum bearing that title, the artist assembles twelve bronze bust portraits by Gerhard Marcks, set on twelve simple white museum pedestals in front of a coloured wall. If one considers the ‘setting’ from the viewpoint of display, the questions that spring to mind are content-related: which historical personalities were selected; what are the commonalities between the persons depicted on the one hand and the busts made by the artist on the other; are thematic, stylistic groups formed or set in opposition, or is a chronological developmental line made plausible? All these questions
will lead down a blind alley in the work of Christian Helwing, because the essential question for the artist’s work is not ‘who’ is assembled here but ‘how’ they are assembled.
Consequently this approach both defines the works of Gerhard Marcks as sculpturally formed material in the same way as the architectonic shell of the Museum building itself becomes a component of the archi-sculptural work of Christian Helwing. Yvette Deseyve
Material: grey paint, museum pedestals, 12 portraits by Gerhard Marcks (bronze, originated between 1934 - 1978)