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In her art installation for this housing estate, Erika Hock speaks to the notion of the home. Pieces of clothing and tableware are employed as community-building elements that stand for both individual households and the community as a whole.

As if hung up to dry, an oversized pair of blue ceramic socks welcomes those coming home in the foyer. Colored steel tubes that resemble handrails run along the eight storeys of the atrium wall giving each floor its own character. Some of the tubes end in light fittings, others project into the atrium space, with more pieces of clothing suspended from them, here made of aluminum sheet. In one place, the steel tube provides the frame for a shelf. On it stands a large yellow ceramic mug. The work also extends into the outdoor space with green steel tube rings winding around the corner of the building like ivy. A straight piece of tube carries a ball lamp, marking both an endpoint and a welcome sign.

Form, colors, and content reference Memphis Design of the 1980s: in Hock’s work, too, the focus is on the iconography of everyday objects, rather than on their function. Architecture and design—especially of the Bauhaus—are recurring themes in her work as is the human scale. In the series “Elbows and Knees” she playfully quotes Marcel Breuer's tubular steel furniture. In Hock’s anthropomorphic version of his iconic cantilever chair, the seat is missing and two cut-outs in the backrest lend a face to the object. Hock’s textile installations are inspired by her studies of the "Café Samt und Seide", which was designed by Lilly Reich and Mies van der Rohe in 1927 as a trade fair stand of the German silk industry. Hock adopts their spatial use of curtains; she deconstructs these and works with printed thread curtains. The printed pattern again is suggestive of eyes and mouths.

Even without eyes or faces, the objects in Hock's installation on Engerthstraße possess this animated quality. Scaled up and simplified, almost childlike, their relation to the home is meant to be read across generations. The steel tubes, with their diameter typical of handrails, do not serve as railings here but as a visual aid drawing the viewers up the atrium space. Blurring and shifting functions in this way lends ambiguity to Hock’s installation which allows for multiple interpretations and multiple ways of engaging with the artwork.

Location

Engerthstraße 257A, 1020 Vienna

Further Information

Erika Hock * 1981 in Dshangi-Dsher (KGZ), lives in Cologne (DEU)

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Home StoriesErika Hock

Time Period

Since May 8, 2024

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