9 June to 18 August 2021

Matias Bechtold and Maike Sander
Other worlds

Matias Bechtold and Maike Sander show a world made of cardboard in the studio im HOCHHAUS. While Maike Sander focuses on bird sculptures for this exhibition, Matias Bechtold creates cityscapes.
The exhibition “Other Worlds” provides an insight into the artistic possibilities inherent in the mundane material.

Matias Bechtold’s works are fascinating because they inspire the imagination both through mega-structures and as models of entire cityscapes or of gigantic buildings. At the same time, they are so rich in detail that one can literally lose oneself in them while looking at them and forget that it is a model. For this special experience between vision, illusion and realism, however, it is not only the uniformity of the material from which they are made that plays an important role. Above all, the consistent facture of its processing, in which the material is almost made to disappear, is essential. In their conceptual and artistic coherence, Bechtold’s works indeed bring to view worlds all their own, which comment critically and ironically on or purposefully transcend the world we live in.” (Laura Mars, 2015)

Mathias Bechtold, born in Ibiza in 1955, builds models of houses and entire cityscapes out of packaging in the broadest sense. He layers skyscrapers with curious interiors out of cake wrappers or sushi boxes, cities and islands out of cardboard. Partly fictitious or inspired by literature, such as Alfred Kubin, or based on existing things as a projection into a future. This is how cities like Cologne or Berlin with skyscrapers and futuristic traffic routes have come into being and how Ibiza has grown together into a single urban mesh.

Maike Sander puts things in relation to people. And lo and behold – things are livelier than we thought. The hoover, asthmatic, earns its mercy, whether it still sucks or not. The fish: a living being, not just a tasty display in the fish shop. The monkey: ditto – and? Doesn’t he look a bit like Uncle Herbert? In this way, chairs also become something like relatives, brother and sister. You don’t have to love each other to be related, that happens in the best families. These chairs are rarely moved, they move within themselves and groan under the weight of human beings.
(…) The material used by Sander, paper, cardboard and algae, is ephemeral per se. You cannot own the chairs and armchairs; they are clearly characterised as artistic artefacts with no practical value. Instead, they convey an idea of transient being, of the respective individual, which is unique and unrepeatable.
(…) Perhaps that is the nature of things as well as of people: ageing, constant change. Maike Sander’s sculptures sharpen our view of things and people anew, subtly conveying a respect that makes us aware of a possible new sustainability that affects not only our relationship to things but also to other people”. (Martin Stather)

Maike Sander, born in Lüneburg in 1965, has been working with this material in her sculptural work for a long time. In addition to animals, which she usually creates in original sizes and sometimes brings to life with other materials, such as algae, she also uses everyday objects as models. She has created entire furnishings, from chairs to beds to bathrobes, out of cardboard. The obvious fragility creates a special atmosphere that would be comparable to a museality, but also immediately breaks it.
*** Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version) ***