The artist Ulrike Grossarth (b. 1952), who today lives in Berlin, has, in her pictorial and sculptural works, in dances and solo pieces, in video films and graphics, in performances and seminars, time and again raised fundamental questions pertaining to body and space, to the relation between material surroundings and acting persons. Ulrike Grossarth began by studying dance (1969-75) at, among other places, the Folkwangschule in Essen and the Paluccaschule Dresden. These "intensive investigations in cultural techniques" (U.G.) lead to the development of a method: "The body as agent of thought and action" and its implementation in performances and solo pieces, dances and actions, as well as mediation in seminars. The pictorial and sculptural works, at first meant to clarify her working approach, today play a pivotal role in Grossarth's work. In line with the investigative and questioning character of Grossarth's work, the installation "Bau 8/Reste vom Mehrwert" (Construction 8/Remains of Surplus value) - a construction of objects, image projections, projector light, and tables - to be seen at Portikus for the first time, can be understood as a set-up for experimentation; and as a multi-layered "model for perception and action" (U.G.), including and making demands on the viewer. Using simple materials such as tables, projectors, glass panes, commodities, and plaster forms, Ulrike Grossarth develops a sculptural method, enabling "self-construction", i.e. essential characteristics of the materials utilised are set free and made dynamic in various ways. Our traditional concept of distinguishing between space and object is suspended:

"....[I] attempt to place the objects in such a way as to effect the indifference between distance and lack of distance; i.e. that it is not actually possible to create relations of meaning that function in everyday use as well as in respect to a system of art. I first want to create an area in which the conceptual mode does not have a material counterpart (...) for me this is a sort of relief, in order to physically unlock a space that does not yet exist in this way..."

Photos: Katrin Schilling