Magazine article Artforum International

Abdul Sharif Baruwa

Magazine article Artforum International

Abdul Sharif Baruwa

Article excerpt

GALERIE GRITA INSAM

In one of the fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm, a little girl climbs down a well. Down below, where everything looks identical to our world, she enters the service of Frau Holle, the mythical figure who makes it snow on our earth by beating and airing out the feather pillows. Down below is also up above. The switch between the two spheres is only natural.

Precisely this curious model of the world was evoked by the young artist Abdul Sharif Baruwa, who was until recently a student at Vienna's Akademie der Bildenden Kunste in the studio of Gunther Damisch. This was his first solo exhibition. Under the title "Welcome," Baruwa exhibited Holzhauschen (Small wooden house), 2002; Flugelwerkstatt (Wing workshop), 2002, a studio con strutted of simple wooden planks for the production of paper angel wings; and various other objects and drawings. A model of the Wing Workshop had hung from the ceiling at the academy's open-studio show last year. Here, realized at full scale, a wooden scaffolding supported a glass vitrine, wings attached to its sides. A little house the size of a one-man tent rested on wooden pallets and contained a mattress housed by a roof structure. Wings were attached to the exterior walls. Above, a video showed Baruwa in a "wreath of lights" made of metal and strands of lights. Aura, 2003, is what the artist has called this gleaming wreath, set next to the house, twinkling.

All of these elements seem to promise a story that nonetheless doesn't yield us its secrets. …

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