THE BREEDER
Stefan Rinck, Owl carrys little owl to Athens, 2007, detail view, stone, 48x32x18cm
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Jannis Varelas
Monster | GR (+)
Socratis Socratous
Gestures of Resistance | GR (+)
Stelios Karamanolis, Sofia Stevi, Jannis Varelas
Carrying owls to Athens | GR (+)
Andreas Angelidakis / Maria Hassabi / Angelo Plessas
Documenta 14 | GR / DE (+)
Maria Hassabi
STAGED | USA (+)

Looking at Stefan Rincks sculptures, the spectator finds himself face to face with a pack of dreamingly gloomy animal figures. They are made of sandstone and seem to come from another rather misty aera. They appear to be risen from medieval times, when animals were able to embody threats far more distinctly than nowadays. At that time, people were trying to architectionally banish their menacing force by erecting “Bestiensäulen” and by flanking buildings with gargoyles, in order to overcome the fear produced by ghostly animals. Today Stefan Rinck places them on pedestals or on the floor and re-endues them with their daemonic potentials, which have been suppressed under modern condition. Furthermore he supplies them with humanoid generals or positions them in military formation, i.e. wedgeshaped. Female figures are also to be found – dragged along like loot, or serving the pack as idols.Whereas the female figures are only rudimentary clothed (or not at all) the animals are equipped with hats, robes or other regalia of power or morality.Thus they are the true swindlers, that is, they are animals striving for more than they are allowed to from origin – and, what is more, they appear to have already made it. That’s why Stefan Rinck called into existence the notion of the swindling animal, which he also sees as a metaphor for the evolution of man. In possession of a self-conscious mind they have been expelled from paradise – just like mankind. The swindling animals are eager to adopt intellectual symbols: pointed hats as regalia of scholarship or alchemy, the cross as symbol of morality, the robe as a sign of profane power. But still they are carrying algoid traces of their unconscious past, as if they were just returning from a deep well. They are lost pre-experiments of nature, that came along with nature’s project to create a self-conscious being. Stefan Rincks bestiarium is presenting animals with a vision, a vision to defeat man by his very own means. Apparently they are only waiting for a gap to move into – camouflaged in cuteness and in a furry disguise. A gap that civilisation itself has produced, by discarding nature’s qualities from its matrix. Happy are those whose thershold is guarded by one of Rinck’s totem animals – to appease the enraged.