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Deconstruction With Clemens Behr

Words:

Compulsive Contents
April 18, 2018

Clemens Behr's work consists of installations that straddle the line between an organic futurism and an abstract deconstructionism. His installations look like a painting come to life - or giant origami models.

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If you are familiar with Transformers, you'll maybe see flashes of the show present in Behr's work. Although static, the installations are charged with a kinetic energy that looks liable to start climbing walls at any second.


Highly reflective of their environment, his mixture of found materials held together with tape and the environment-matching colour palette creates a sense of temporality - it belongs there, but seems somehow spontaneously put together, a natural product of its environment just like the materials decided to build themselves.

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The shapes used to build the designs are generally geometric, rising from the ground into various contorted figures in a symbiosis of nature and nurture. Architectural elements run through his work, especially in the way they integrate with the built urban environment.


A lot of art is an action, the rest is a reaction - there can be nothing else. Behr's definitely fits into the reaction camp. It all starts with the space and grows from there as a meditative response to the environment.


Interestingly the element of spontaneity runs through the whole process. Often unaware what tools will be at his disposable, Behr's ideas can't be limitless because they are at the mercy of many restrictions. His background of graffiti, in which almost nothing is permanent, informs his attitudes towards his manufactured structures. They may be beautiful, but beauty is always fleeting.

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That's not to say there is no thought or pre-planning involved, of course their is. But the act in itself is one of improvisation. His favourite artist, Gordon Matta-Clark was similarly known for site-specific deconstructions of the urban environment. His influence is clear in the way they both aesthetically disfigure things that look like they shouldn't be.


The colours of Matta-Clark's work was predominantly cement grey. However Behr differs here - when travelling to a new country he opts out of researching and goes more by the feeling, creating something that grows from his mind, just like the work grows from the environment - it stands out, clearly there, but also clearly not - a meditation on time and space itself.

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