FREAKS - Will Benedict über die Künstlerin Anita Leisz

The Facts

While visiting her in her studio Anita Leisz showed me two versions of a new work that were almost identical except one was 2 cm taller. She explained that the taller of the two was too tall and that she couldn’t use it. The smaller, appropriately proportioned work had already been made twice in the proper dimensions but with a slight (though significant) difference. For the past year Leisz has been working with gypsum fibre board, a material that comes in sheets like dry wall but is made of a combination of plaster and paper fibre.  As a result, what viewers have been faced with in all of her recent exhibitions are grey rectangular forms of various sizes and detailing. Leisz builds a wooden skeleton upon which she affixes the fibre board - all seams, joints or breaks in the material are practical necessities dependant on the construction of the interior skeleton. Like an Egon Eiermann building any notion of elegance is derived from the clarity of the solution. But in Leisz’s work Eiermann’s purity of purpose is abandoned.  What remains is an irreducible strictness in which the content becomes the strictness of the procedure of construction itself. So that the phrase „clarity of the solution“ holds no meta-meaning or metaphorical weight and does not stretch to include historical notions of enlightened or rational thinking but is instead just a fact. I say this this way to illustrate how close in proximity the difference is of having your feet on the ground versus levitating just a little.

When a Wall Becomes a Cat and a Portrait of a Cat a Door

The two sculptures by Anita Leisz which were originally exhibited at Studio Sassa Trülzsch are titled „Freaks“.  As I mentioned before there is a slight but definite difference between the two parts which make up the work. It could be said that one of them has a head and an ass and the other has two asses, but that’s not really what’s there. But if the head of a hammer is a head and the head of a shark a hammer, then maybe there’s a freak with two asses in this show. The actual difference is much simpler but more difficult to describe. Of the total eight horizontal edges of the two rectangular forms, six have the shorter width of the material overlapping the longer breadth by two cm, three asses. Two horizontal edges are finished with a beveled cut facing outward, one head. We are given options, like in Sol LeWitt’s Incomplete Open Cubes but Leisz’s sequence has three possibilities and we are only given two. So all things in order I’m like a kitten having its portrait taken staring at a two-headed freak that no one can see.

Will Benedict

Stretch your view

Stretch your view