Eberhard Bosslet

By Carboni, Massimo | Artforum International, November 1993 | Go to article overview

Eberhard Bosslet


Carboni, Massimo, Artforum International


Eberhard Bosslet's works evoke extremely strong emotions. Here, his works were installed in spaces wrested from an architectural complex where construction had been interrupted in the '30s, and which had been intended to accommodate the faithful visiting the adjacent Scala Santa, or holy staircase, one of the most popular Christian sites in Rome. The extremely high, powerful walls were left unplastered, the stones and bricks clearly visible. This naked architectural structure surrounding Bosslet's technological objects almost neutralized their dangerous, disturbing aspect. But then one realized that the intrinsic quality of the emotions they evoked was actually reinforced by their juxtaposition to the setting, to those bare and "sacred" spaces.

For the construction of his objects Bosslet used hard, industrial materials, devices and equipment from the world of engineering and technological production. He turned them into a provocative montage, which simultaneously confirmed and transformed their original nature. Black cushions inflated with compressed air were squeezed between steel clamps taken from pieces of a forklift. He allows the viewer to sense the forces at work in nature, materially, almost physically, the directionality of the weights and thrusts, the violence of the action that industrial-technological operations exercise upon objects, along with the counteraction--what one might call the feedback--that is inevitably triggered. It was as if these objects (from which the viewer instinctively kept a distance, half-fearing the pressure under which they were kept) might suddenly explode. …

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