Nora Schultz

October – December 2010

The Fondazione Giuliani per l’arte contemporanea presents avere luogo (taking place), the first solo show in Italy of German artist Nora Schultz (Frankfurt, 1975).

Metal tubing, foam matting, magnets, rope, stainless steel ramps and plates: the sculptures of Nora Schultz are typically made from found industrial materials, abducted from their original context and re-assembled by the artist with an apparent naturalness, under which lies a dense plot of internal relationships. The materials, fragile remains of contemporaneity undermined by the improvised extraction from their original functionality, manifest a weighted presence when relocated to the exhibition space. This candid materiality imbues the sculptures of Nora Schultz with the immediacy of the moment and makes them, above all else, authentic objects. The spectator is thus drawn into a direct relationship with the objects and is required to consider what constitutes a sculpture? What constitutes an image? And from what is constructed a sculpture’s or image’s cultural identity in the ‘here and now’? Left completely open to infiltrate the surrounding space-time dimension, Schultz’s works define or destabilize the place in which they are situated, while rendering the location itself more evident through the installation.

The term “place”, in explicit contrast to the notion of space, is a central theme of the exhibition. Place implies an actual taking place of something, a movement, an existence that reflects a very precise temporal dimension: the interpretation of sculpture as place and place, in turn, as the “area within an environment which has been altered in such a way as to make the general environment more conspicuous”. This well-known notation by Carl Andre in reference to his sculptures produced by simply positioning units on the floor and their capacity to create place is, together with the postulates of Minimalism, another important reference in the exhibition.

On display at the Fondazione Giuliani is a selection of recent works by Nora Schultz, which both contextualize the artist’s broader practice and that develop a close relationship in the exhibition space with new sculptures and collages produced specifically for avere luogo.

avere luogo is, moreover, the first in a series of solo shows at the Fondazione Giuliani dedicated to Italian and international artists who are invited to examine the internal logic of the collection. However, avere luogo was developed less as a discourse with specific selected artworks, than as an acute reflection on the collection itself as a generating element of place. Intrigued by the intimate rapport that ties a collector to his/her personal collection, Schultz explored the private spaces of the Giuliani Collection to formulate a personal re-reading, and to capture images of the artworks through photographs that both reflect on the actual placement of works in a specific location and also recall the individual movement of the artist in that precise moment.

Nora Schultz lives and works in Berlin. Winner of the 2011 Villa Romana Prize in Florence; finalist of the blauorange Art Prize 2010. Recent solo shows include: Tunnel, Sutton Lane, London/Paris (2010); Hebezeug, Isabella Bortolozzi Galerie, Berlin (2010); Nora Schultz & Pernille Kapper Williams, Grazer Kunstverein, Graz (2009); 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0, Koelnischer Kunstverein, Cologne (2009); Group shows include: Non-Solo Show, Non-Group Show, Kunsthalle Zurich (2009); Collatéral, Confort Moderne, Poitiers (2009); and On Interchange – zwischenspiele einer Sammlung, Museum Kurhaus, Kleve (2009).