"Stretched Quad", 2011
37.8 x 6.3 x 6.3 in
inscribed at the bottom next to the opening "H. 111009"
Über das Werk
Ewerdt Hilgemann first began imploding his geometric hollow bodies in 1984. This is effected by drawing the air from these cubic stainless steel objects using a vacuum pump (or sometimes also by emptying the hollow body filled with water) which are crushed by the action of the external air pressure. Yet the gleaming perfection of the external shell remains in tact and generates in the viewer both optical and mental confusion: Although the objects are crumpled, they betray no signs of exterior impact - and yet it is obvious that an enormous force must have been exerted. The imploded work represents the random outcome of a physical process, and explores the issue of beauty and the uniqueness of geometrical imperfection. Commanding an imposing presence, the twisted objects are possessed of a striking aesthetic expressivity - in contrast to their original forms.
Hilgemann's prototypes are made of stable, carefully-wrought stainless steel. Its self-generated transformation is no sudden event, but a gradual, yet powerful metamorphosis. Rather than a "happening", the process of implosion is a creative act which manifests itself visibly in the finished art work. Thus Hilgemann's completed implosions prompt us to reflect upon the nature of our existence. Internal transformations initiate external change. The expended energy remains palpable and turns a uniformly perfect serial product into an entirely new entity, imbued with its own history and the fascination of a personal aura.