In Whipped Dream, Kunsthaus Baselland showcases the most recent works created by Basel-based artist Maya Bringolf (born in 1969 in Schaffhausen, Switzerland).
The artist, who garnered popular acclaim with her silicone installations in which she stresses the peculiarity of spatial features by means of ornamental motifs, has now turned to sculpting. It’s no longer ornaments and their interactions with space that she devotes her artistic attention to; rather, she is exploring the specificities of sculptural beings and their unique inner lives.
Bringolf’s most recent series of works revolves around topics such as bodies vs. physical deformations, artificiality vs. nature, beauty vs. ugliness, and fragility vs. monstrosity. The artist now works with polyurethane foam, a material whose formal arbitrariness generates sculptures undergoing surprisingly proliferating transformations. The exhibition title Whipped Dream is a pun on “whipped cream”, a term that encompasses the foamy, floating texture of both materials, whipped cream and polyurethane foam. Apart from the connotation of lightness, however, the title Whipped Dream also conjures up nightmares or the subconscious coming to the surface. The use of materials such as bast, netting, hairs, mirrors, and wood also evokes the uncanny. These materials tame and impose limits on polyurethane foam. They serve as permeable skin, acting both as a restriction and an extension.
Bringolf’s objects and sculptures are bizarre and humorous, but they also elicit a sense of unease. They give rise to a physical sensation and remind us of metamorphosing, proliferating, and amorphous objects. We perceive them as architectural structures rising up or hovering like a naturally grown cluster. Her filled and overflowing fishnet stockings change between human legs and pillars. Displayed on Styrofoam pedestals, they are also reminiscent of extraterrestrial architectural landscapes. The exhibition turns into a physical and associative space in which lightness coalesces with heaviness, and in which things that are known amalgamate with things that are unknown.
Text by Sabine Schaschl