I find that there is something very rewarding and comforting about doing the same tasks over and over. Or spending time in a place with only a limited number of elements, absorbing the environment slowly. This allows for a mental space where the daily processes can become routine, and create an intimacy and immediacy that is otherwise hard to achieve. A familiarity with the surroundings is due to a certain choreography of repeating gestures. In many ways Roithmayr’s collages at Tenderpixel behave the same way, they were born out of following simple rules, approaching things again and again, playfully and patiently, until they found their final shape from an infinite number of possibilities.
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In a place like that described, a ritual of repeating movements is enacted, almost the same each day. As a result, slight changes start to occur in the surfaces over time, through coming in contact with the body in specific ways. Touch begins to shape the objects perhaps in similar ways to making a mark and manipulating surfaces while creating artworks. Everything has a place without having to consciously think about it anymore. However, even a place with such comfortingly familiar shapes sometimes feels ultimately unknowable. Any material – even after centuries-old practices using them; or any person – even after decades of a close relationship, no matter how much time we spend with them, they still hold secrets and ultimately remain something infinitely distant and strange.
Plaster specifically has a long history, with techniques largely unchanged, yet how we relate to it is different and contemporary each time. Roithmayr combines his intimate knowledge of the material with unpredictability, as he set up some experiments, teasing out unexpected results. To a certain extent, he is giving over control in this hidden operation, deliberately allowing space for accidents in order to learn from them through these processes. His work is about generating and tracking changes in the material. The ambition in his practice is to register the consequences of one surface or material yielding another through capturing the unexpected gestures that occur in the gap between mould and cast. His work consists of materials that create each other the moment they are put together.
Florian Roithmayr (b. 1976, Rosenheim, Germany), lives and works in Reading and Wysing. He initially trained as a theatre designer with Herbert Scherreiks in Germany before studying and researching art at the Slade School and Goldsmith College in London.
Recent solo exhibitions include these here withins, at Renata Fabbri Gallery, Milan, IT (2018), The Humility of Plaster, Kettle’s Yard and Museum Of Classical Archaeology, Cambridge, UK (both 2018); ir re par sur, Bloomberg Space, London, UK (2017); breath rider (performance), Camden Arts Centre, London, UK (2017); with, and, or, without, Camden Arts Centre, London, UK (2015/2016); Self Service, MOTINTERNATIONAL, Brussels, BE (2015); Matter of Engagement, Site Gallery, Sheffield UK (2014); Grand Magasin – a project with Nat Breitenstein, French Riviera, London, UK (2013); Florian Roithmayr, Treignac Projet, Treignac, FR (2013); Assault, The Schtip, Sheffield, UK (2013);The Y, Rowing Projects, London, UK (2013); Like Plugging In, MOT International, London, UK (2012); You want to borrow my shades, don’t complain about their tint, MOT International, London, UK (2011).
Selected recent group exhibitions include Home is not a Place, German Embassy, London (2017); They call us the Screamers, TULCA – Galway International Arts Festival, Republic of Ireland (2017); Bauhaus & Around, Galerie Nicolas Silin, Paris, FR (2016); Inland Far, Herbert Read Gallery, Canterbury, UK (2016); Foreign Objects, CCA Derry/Londonderry, Northern Ireland (2016); Royal Academy of Arts, London, UK (2016); Summer Exhibition, Royal Academy of Art, London, UK (2016); Things That Tumble Twice, Tenderpixel, London, UK (2015); Mostra, British School at Rome, IT (2015); Proprioception, Laure Genillard Gallery, London, UK (2014); Hey I’m Mr. Poetic, Wysing Art Center, Cambridgeshire, UK (2014); The Influence of Furniture on Love, Wysing Art Center, Cambridgeshire, UK (2014); O Chair / O Flesh, Treignac Project, Treignac, FR (2013); £5.34, Carl Freedman, London, UK (2013); I Don’t Feel Like It: The Indifference Of Objects, Camberwell College f Art, London, UK (2012); Solid On Our Source Planet, Wysing Arts Centre, Cambridgeshire, UK (2012) and Fifteen, S1 Artspace, Sheffield, UK (2011).
His new book, Aftercast, was recently published by Tenderbooks, London (2018), designed by Sara De Bondt Studios.Florian Roithmayr: something infinitely distant and strange, 2018. Photography by Original&theCopy, courtesy of the artist and Tenderpixel.