2012 Krüger & Pardeller
2012 Krüger & Pardeller



State of Matter, 2012. Photo: Joerg Burger

State of Matter

Site-specific installation

Former water tank, iron, aluminium, wood, LED

Podium: 460 x 1,300 cm, tanks: 190 x 100 x 100 cm each

Execution 2012

Room: attic

State of Matter means the description of materials as being solid, liquid or gas. The title thus suggests questions of materiality, and that is precisely what this installation toys with. In a different light, the reflective liquid standing in the inclined steel tanks reveals itself to be a solidified material, solid cast aluminium, which upon closer inspection bears the grain of wood and hence calls into question its metallic appearance: surreally playing with materiality, its perception and meaning. Because as a verb ‘matter’ also means ‘be important or significant’, and that changes not only with a thing’s form but also with its materiality, or rather with a shift in our perception.

Yet the artistic intervention has also changed the entire state of the found steel tanks. Disconnected for decades, completely rusty and long relieved of their original function, these relics have been restored; their new position and the alterations made to them has changed their meaning and attribution. The formerly functional objects that had meanwhile become a burden were transformed by the artistic process, changing their meaning and value to adopt a different, new state of matter.

The solidified liquid refers to the tanks’ former use to store water. The intentional tilting of the containers stems from the objects’ great weight and age, as if they had sunk into the floor since their previous displacement. The site-specific wooden beam, which bears the ceiling beneath it, also appears to tilt and sink into the floor underneath; it is integrated in the installation along with the tanks. It is as if the viewer were standing in front of relics from a bygone age, which from certain angels offer surprisingly magical moments, a flash of mystery and secrets.


The two tanks are connected to one another via their former feeder and drainage pipes. A pipe system partly laid underground links them as communicating vessels. The original water is replaced by coagulated metal and light, which together form a joint circuit through which the conditions of one vessel appear to have an impact on those in the other – a reciprocal relationship as might exist between two connected people.


The grey painted floorboards hold the individual elements together, combining them into an installation in which they stand on a stage like actors to perform a play together. A two-hander about a shared life. The continuation of the theatre floor in the form of cast aluminium within the inclined tanks and their levelling corresponds to liquid’s habit of arranging itself horizontally under the influence of gravity. However, that the aluminium simultaneously bears the grain of the wooden boards gives rise to a surprising uncertainty. Natural phenomena and staged, surreal moments collide.


Depending on where the light falls from the LEDs inserted in the pipes, the material either appears matte and solid or, when the viewer changes their position, a shining spectacle of shimmering, quicksilver-like fluid. Actually very reduced in terms of its aesthetics and materiality, the installation only comes to magical life when the viewer changes their point of view.

(Text by KRÜGER & PARDELLER from the project dossier, Kunstraum Buchberg archive)

First presentation in the context of the Buchberger Sommer 2012 [Buchberg Summer 2012] (exhibition and party 70.40.30)


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