Works below by Florian Slotawa.
Besitzarbeit VIII: Jüngstes Gericht, 2000.
After studying examples of Giotto in Padua and Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel, the artist turned to exploring the theme of the Last Judgement with his own home furnishings. Unlike the figurative representations familiar from art history, this Last Judgement is kept abstract, but maintains the iconography which has developed over the centuries: Christ as the final judge is positioned in the center, to his right and above we find paradise, below and to his left hell is portrayed in a car trunk, and the descent into hell is routed over an ironing board and through the sun roof of the artist’s car, whereas the resurrection occurs under the hood. The judge of the world is flanked by the Mother of God, John the Baptist, and the archangel Michael carrying the scale to weigh souls.
Besitzarbeit IX: Verkündigung, 2003.
The second art historical reference in the Besitzarbeiten series was made with the new possessions and car of the artist purchased after his entire belongings had been sold to a private collector. The resulting Annunciation takes its orientation from pictorial compositions of this theme typical of the baroque: An angel enters from above left, the Virgin Mary is taken aback, the Holy Spirit, portrayed as a dove, hovers above. A lily in the center of the composition represents Mary’s immaculateness, the car door opens to a space behind the scene like a door or window with a view to the Garden of Eden.
Besitzarbeit X: Beweinung, 2004.
The third piece based on art historical sources in the Besitzarbeiten series depicts a lifeless Christ lying crosswise and embraced in Mary’s lap, a gesture which the open wardrobe doors imply. The two are surrounded by a group of saints. The installation was freely positioned in the middle of the room, ensuring a view of the event from various angles. Stationed at Christ’s feet, the view upwards was reminiscent of Andrea Mantegna’s famed Lamentation of Christ.
Besitzarbeit XII: Pier and Ocean, 2009.
The latest work from the Besitzarbeiten refers to Piet Mondrian’s series Pier and Ocean from 1915 which marked an important stage in his development towards abstraction. Each picture of the series consists of a flattened oval containing a composition of vertical and horizontal lines representing the stars in the sky and their reflections in the ocean. On the lower edge of each image, a pier jutting into the water has a calming and stabilizing function. The installation at the P.S.1 makes reference not only formally but also in content to these works: between the museum and the artist’s Berlin apartment lies the ocean, across which furnishings from his home were freighted per ship.