Known for his intriguing humor and sleek aesthetic, German artist Andreas Slominski presents artifacts of consumerist desire in their most pristine forms, well before their wearing out over time through consumer use. His most recent exhibition at Metro Picture presents a group of fresh-from-the-factory portable plastic toilets, complete with stainless surfaces and bright colors. Instead of the foreseeable contrast they would orchestrate with a hygienic white cube space, these non-used bathrooms comply with the all-white atmosphere thanks to their immaculate exteriors and unusual display concepts.
Slominski mounted these tall rectangular plastic boxes horizontally onto the wall, dispersing them around the gallery to create a narrow hallway for the viewer to walk through. With this new installation method, the artist not only pays homage to Minimalist art’s desire to create sleek architectural geometry within the white cube, but also puts a smile on the viewer’s face with his unabashed and provoking humor. The sculptures’ strategic display and interaction with their audience recall Dan Flavin’s neon installations protruding from the wall, or a Donald Judd sculpture of perfectly piled shiny aluminum shelves. Slominski’s commitment to humor also emerges in his choice of manufacturer for production of his portable toilets. By working with a German company, the artist taps onto the world-famous exceptionality of German fabrication, which allows him to infuse sarcasm into ideals of nationalism and pride.
Accenting his toilet sculptures are a series of wall reliefs created with the same plastic used during the production of toilets in different colors, including flashy greens and pinks. The images Slominski selected to be vacuum-formed onto these plastic surfaces are moments of maternal bond between mother and child. In addition to their commercial vibe with exaggerated and theatrical displays of connection, these silhouettes of women holding their babies recall “Mother and Child” iconography in Christian art. Throughout, the exchanges of utility and visual appeal are apparent, and the artist’s implication of the abject plays on past modes of capitalist critique while also commenting on the stark minimalism of the highest reaches of the modern art market.
Andreas Slominski: ANDREAS SLOMINSKYYY Is On View at Metro Pictures Through May 25, 2018.
— O.C. Yerebakan
Metro Pictures [Exhibition Page]