I’ll Be Your Sister: Sculpting Contradictions by Thomas Houseago at Hauser and Wirth

Taking things out of proportion; magnifying them; exaggerating; why are you focusing so much on this? Don’t you think you are overreacting? Complicating things; simplifying them; it is not that simple; it always was.
It is all a matter of perspective. Experiences seem important to us, because they are most likely our experiences. We obsess because the things that make up our obsessions are things that we are obsessed about.
I sometimes overthink things; I am walking to the bus stop, and I suddenly become aware that I am biting the inside of my bottom lip, I am frowning, my eyes focus on a spot in the horizon that has not formed yet. I am thinking of 50 things at once, and there’s a common connection, a thread running through all of them, hiding under them, a complex concept in a simplified setting.

As I am standing in front of Thomas Houseago’s work at Hauser and Wirth, I can not help but draw all these paralells. You see, Houseago is a sculptor of contradiction. With an elaborate artistic language, his pieces are mysterious yet brutally straightforward. The surfaces have a seemingly unfinished surface that is done in a sophisticated manner.

His monumental figures, relief wall panels and abstract, columnar lamps are scattered around the two gallery spaces, creating a feeling of being in a different world altogether. It is all about perspective.

His works have equal parts of a menacing and a welcoming nature, a type of eerie and ethereal glow that reminded me of a moment in Prometheus, that split second where the world hang at a balance between the Creator and David.

Houseago doesn’t hide what others would regard imperfections; instead, he exposes the structural components. The artist’s movements remain as handprints, trails on the sculpture’s surface, on the giant’s muscles, on the person’s life.

Houseago’s panels look unrefined and fractured to the point of deconstruction, and this is where their beauty lies. The unrefined; the fractured; the importance of the gigantic structure because of the perspective, the exaggeration of what looks simple but is not.

And like Houseago, we are all sculptors of contradictions; sculptors of perspective, sculpting the everyday with what we are given. Events are your material, the day is your sculpture.



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