THE DEED | DAS WERK: Iris Musolf

The Hannover-born artist Iris Musolf, who lives and works in Berlin, talks about the central message of her artistic work during her interview.

Please describe the core theme and the central message of your work.

Concerning the creative process the question for me is how to make visible social and psychological qualities, how to show human depths and deformation but also a moment of surprise by using unexpected material.

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Portrait mit AK-Air 20, 2020
Foto:  © Dr. Cordia Schlegelmilch

My central issues are trivial promotional and throwaway articles, optimized and cheap plastic surfaces, superficial fun, the marketing of sex without emotional engagement, colorful pictures. By using special material and forms I try to add some kind of gravity to these dazzling symbols of ease and superficial consumption, which, at a closer look, leads to ad absurd-um and finally dissolves. The question for me is: how must I change the visual presence to achieve a change in perception so that something of the inner nature of the work emerges?

Introduce us to the work that, in your view, exemplifies or best embodies the message of your work.

Inflatable sex-animals made of concrete, this is the combining of joke articles and a masochistic mental figure.

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Shake A Little Ass, 2011
Foto: © Dieter Düvelmeyer, Courtesy Galerie Lörcher

Imagine an inflatable rubber doll. Besides rubber dolls you can also buy inflatable plastic animals with anus holes to allow penetration: donkeys, pigs, cows, chicken. I set them in concrete.

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Blow-Up Love Doll Animals, Ausstellungsansicht Allgemeiner Konsumverein, 2015
Foto: © Iris Musolf / Dr. Cordia Schlegelmilch

My work “Springbock” is kind of follow-up. The “Springbock” is a frame that reminds you of a gymnastic equipment buck, but it is far too skinny and high to jump across.

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Springbock, Galerie Gilla Lörcher, 2020
Foto: © Dr. Cordia Schlegelmilch, Courtesy Galerie Gilla Lörcher

On the buck I installed an inflatable, penetrable sex cushion made of marble Acrystal.

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Herstellung der Arbeit „Springbock“
Foto: © Iris Musolf

Another project was the “Gelbe Kabine” I built for the Federal Office for Radiation Protection. This gondola is a remake of a Ferris wheel gondola in the Chernobyl amusement park.

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Gelbe Kabine,  Bundesamt für Strahlenschutz 2018
Foto: © Marion Schmiding & Alexander Ludwig Obst

In normal life the gondola promises fun and joyful play, laughing children, but here, in open space this gondola is a symbol of one of the biggest technical catastrophes of mankind – the accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in 1986.

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Herstellung der Arbeit „Gelbe Kabine“ bei sculptureberlin 2018
Foto: © Dr. Cordia Schlegelmilch

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Herstellung der Arbeit „Gelbe Kabine“ bei sculptureberlin 2018
Foto: © Dr. Cordia Schlegelmilch

For me, there is no separation between pleasure and consumption and what it is made of. In art I have the opportunity to put together what I skip or can’t think clearly in words. I try to cast these ambivalences into a form.

I hope that I will succeed as for example did Martha Rosler with her series “Bringing The War Home” or Oliviero Tascani who photographed Jesus Jeans and the Benetton Campaign

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AK-Air 20, 2019, Galerie Gilla Lörcher, 2020
Foto: © Dr. Cordia Schlegelmilch, Courtesy Galerie Gilla Lörcher

What is the aim of your art, your work, what is it supposed to achieve in the viewer?

I don’t have the power about the viewers thoughts. I hope that – from time to time -visions of my work will emerge before the inner eye of the people who know my art.


THE DEED | THE WORK is a complementary and separately presented part of THE INTERVIEW IN|DEEDS with Iris Musolf.

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