As part of Art Cologne 2021, Nicolas Pelzer presents Softbody, his second solo exhibition at fiebach, minninger, which features new works created especially for the venue.
Cranberry-red lacquered objects are scattered liberally across the floor of the exhibition space. Their surface texture is irregular, reminiscent of wood splinters or muscle fibers. Force (2021), the title of this group of works, contradicts their physical, flaccid appearance. Nervous Picker (2021), on the contrary, gives no illusion of strength — the white object attached to the wall shows clear points of fracture. Both works are the product of banal everyday objects that have been greatly enlarged: toothpicks and beef jerky. Nicolas Pelzer creates high-resolution scans of small objects and then displays them as 3D prints. The result is unfamiliar sculptures that rarely reveal their original models at first glance.
While the sublimation prints Wear and Tear (Pitchfork) from 2021 openly state their reference object — a pitchfork — in the title, the imaging process is less direct. The physical action of scratching the surface with the pitchfork is entirely virtual. The scratch marks thus refer to a thing whose physical existence can only be assumed in the second instance. The linguistic act of naming, of referring to real objects — “a table is a table” — is challenged by this simulation, and with it our robust relationship to these things.
In addition to the relationship between image and reproduction, an interest in the evolution of tools, from prehistoric to digital, runs through Nicolas Pelzer’s work. With the aid of various printing processes and renderings, his artistic practice examines technological processes that are becoming increasingly externalized from the human body. His image and object prints reference these boundless formation processes.
Softbody brings together works based on various objects associated with predominantly masculine, strong characteristics. Beef jerky, toothpicks, and pitchforks automatically evoke the image of the lonesome cowboy. It is a last stand, a demonstration of strength, before they fall powerless to the ground as loose references and traces.