Edit Oderbolz developed a new work for Bermondsey Square’s temporary public sculpture commission SCULPTURE AT. The work drew from the various uses the square has during the week: as a place of transit; a place where residents and people working in the area sit; and as the site of a weekly antiques market. Considering these uses and the reflection on our needs and expectations from the environment, Oderbolz built a structure in the form of a house.
It was an archetypical house, a very rough shape like a children’s drawing, and the sculpture mingled between a 3-dimensional form and a drawing. On top of this form, one half of its roof was covered by a solid metal shelter and the other side a soft curtain hanged, creating a more intimate and private aspect. With these two elements, a situation was created that raised questions around our expectations of a shelter or house in our urban environment.
Exploring relationships between: privacy and the public; cover and protection; shelter and safety; internal and external; Oderbolz’s sculpture was a minimal gesture, stripped down to the bare relevant elements. Almost brutally, it left space to the imagination and interpretation of the passing viewer or ‘shelterer’.
In her sculptures, spatial drawings and objects, Oderbolz reflects on how architectures and their inhabited structures are always part of a larger political and economic context. While utopias and powerful rhetoric can express and reveal themselves through architecture, it is only in everyday life and the lived experience that boundaries and spaces between the self and the other, between the individual and the community, can be defined and thus become tangible.
Oderbolz said that “dealing with architectural space is a core element of my artistic practice. I investigate, what mental (emotional) and physical effects the social construction of space has on us. What influence do private and public spaces have, where are the intersections and how does society deal with them? A citation from the architect and cultural theorist Bernard Rudofsky built a starting point for this intervention on Bermondsey Square and many other recent works. He describes the space created by folding a newspaper in two as the beginning of architecture ‘Suburban man falling asleep near his lawnmower, pulling a section of his Sunday newspaper over his head, thus re-enacts the birth of architecture’.”
Oderbolz was selected for this commission by Alys Williams (VITRINE Director) and Claire Hoffmann (Swiss Curator). Edit Olderboltz’s commission is generously funded by Swiss Cultural Fund, Stanley Thomas Jonson Foundation and Arts Council England with additional support from Bermondsey Square, Contemporary Art Society, Southwark Council and Team London Bridge. Drinks are kindly provided by Kino Digital, Bermondsey.
Edit Oderbolz (b.1966, Switzerland) is known in the contemporary art context above all with the awarding of the Manor Art Prize, Basel (2004), solo exhibitions at Kunsthaus Basalland (2016) and Kunsthaus Langenthal (2008), the project for the public wall of Kunsthalle Basel (2010) and her presentation at Statements, Art Basel (2010). For her artistic work, she has been awarded a number of bursaries, residencies, and prizes.