Maria Loboda

(Germany/Poland) b.1979

Lives and works in Berlin and London

Maria Loboda is seeking to transform knowledge into objects, seeing the world as a set of signs to be deciphered. She derives inspiration from the cultural heritages of the past, both folklore and mysticism, science and obsolescence. The plurality of her focuses of interest is reflected in her multiple practices. Loboda says,

“I am considering language as a possible material amongst others, like music, tapestry, botanics, ceramics, curtains or pigments”. Between rationality and magic, the artist initiates a conversation among subjects and references which a priori ought never to have met.

Tasks Abandoned before Completion is an installation resembling an office, a chamber-like place of power. It is kept simple in appearance, in the style of a convertible office, which is quite common in private houses. Loboda likes the idea of interchangeability of room structures, the transformation from private to public, from arcane to mundane and vice versa. Tasks Abandoned before Completion was left in a hurry; the traces of work are still visible. It’s a quiet place adorned with photographs of A Man of His Word, a well-dressed gentleman banker holding his gloved hands in mudras – symbolic ritual gestures or “seals” in Hinduism and Buddhism, like pictograms representing spiritual archetypes. Loboda wanted to combine two opposing high cultures in these photographs, the iconography of spiritual enlightenment and the loftiness of corporate etiquette.

Furthermore, some of the shelves and drawers are adorned with three minerals, resembling simple office decoration elements. Sulfur, charcoal and saltpeter are the main ingredients of gunpowder, which is responsible for changing the history of warfare. Presented as room decorations, they could prove fatal if handled and altered in a different manner. The room is silent and the tasks abandoned, but they could be activated into a violent reaction. The three minerals also represent a primal state of matter, the pre-dynastic, pre-cultured element which occurs naturally but could, through science and knowledge, reach another state of existence and impact.

The out and indoor work The Interrupted Pillar, is a marble column in two parts, separated and with the middle part missing. The upper part located inside the office installation the lower which is covered daily in a thin layer Hydrochloric Acid in the garden. Marble, as a calcium carbonate is dissolved by hydrochloric acid and is causing severe coronation. Over the duration of the exhibition the marble work will slowly deteriorate, forming itself into Carbon dioxide. This active chemical reaction is a connected to the work in the upper part of the museum, which is on the contrary inactive, waiting for a transformation to come.

Loboda’s recent exhibitions include: Dead Guardian at Kunstverein Braunschweig, Braunschweig, Germany (2014); Peril at Maisterravalbuena, Madrid (2011); Dynamite Winter Palace at Galerie Schleicher+Lange, Paris (2011); In the Autumn the Electricity Withdraws into the Earth Again and Rests at Krome Gallery, Berlin (2010); New Thoughts Old Forms at Bielefelder Kunstverein, Bielefeld, Germany (2010), and Conversational Style at Schleicher+Lange Gallery, Paris (2009). She is the recipient of scholarships from the Cultural Fundation of Hessen for a residency in London (2010); Kulturstif-tung Dresden/Dresdner Bank (2008); and Dellbrück Bethmann Privatbank Prize (2006).

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