Matters of Life & Death

7th July - 25th Sept 2011
Gisbert's Diamond 'Sparkler' on YouTube

'Transformation’ #1 cross pendant in silver with garnets in acid – still image from video

‘Transformation’ #1 cross pendant in silver with garnets in acid – still image from video
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Gisbert Stach

Video 2006
DVD 7 min 31, Pal 4:3

A silver ornate cross set with red jewels is immersed in an acidic fluid and dissolves within only a few minutes.
The metal layers come off in shreds, the precious stones drop out of their settings and fall down. Due to the rapid dissolution the entire metal structure collapses - a transformation of the material and spiritual value.

Video 2008
DVD 6 min, Pal 4:3

A woman sits in front of a mirror and fine pieces of jewellery are brought to her and put around her neck. As in a fitting, several models are presented and put on, while the necklaces previously put on are not taken off. Gradually, more and more necklaces pile up around her neck and head. The initial elation and ease of decorating gives way to burden and impediment. Instead of emphasising the fine necklines, an ungainly shape emerges. Heaviness and weight show in the model's posture and facial expressions. The wearer of the burdensome jewellery finally collapses.

Generally speaking, jewellery underlines a woman's beauty and elegance and, through its value, stresses her social status.
This video sequence shows the absurdity of adornments. Instead of being a light adornment, it becomes a threat for the wearer, literally suffocating her.

Tree necklaces
2004 to 2008
Plastic beads, wire

Jewellery manipulating nature.

Instead of decorating a person, a string of beads on a wire, is fastened tightly around the slender trunk of a tree. Here, the beads have the same decorative effect as pearls worn around a woman's neck.

However, as the trunk grows and widens the string of beads slowly cuts into the bark. Over time, the necklace will be grown over and finally covered.

The work of Gisbert Stach has distinct socially minded overtones. Problems of the present time are reflected in installations, objects, jewellery, photos and video projections.

The artist more often raises the problem of debasement of values. He is interested in the world of objects and how they are perceived by consumers. He places his own made jewellery in unconventional places like a tree stump and thus challenges its sense. He uses the materials to play with their purpose.
Gisbert tries to give them a new meaning.

He puts ornaments into pizza pie or glass containers, sets expensive stones in factory-made cosmetics and serves them on paper trays. He also makes allusive pendants with sexual subtexts. All of these are objects which can be interpreted in different ways. 

Gisbert plays not only with our receiving habits of reading references but also with sense, value and destiny of those things whose purpose is neither to decorate nor to move the sensitivity of an audience. A symbolic expression of the world being overloaded with this glamour and ornaments is a film from a performance where a woman bends and falls down under the load of necklaces which she has put on.
In fact, Gisbert’s objects don’t simply apply to the world of consumerism but discretely undermine their sense of serving the glamour and fulfilling vain needs .
Anna Kania Saj

Biographical Details