Working in object, installation and video, Matysik deals in manifold ways with concepts for future landscapes and organisms, like post-evolutionary life forms. He creates an area of conflict between promise and failure in a potential future. Both the visual implementation and their linguistic form can be recognised here as the essential artistic strategies which he uses as his own interface between the worlds of scientific research and pseudo-scientific fiction.
Matysik has created more than a hundred organisms as models of plasticine, PVC, epoxy resin, rubber, and silicone, and categorised them by weight, size, gender, form of extremities, orientation, location, mode of life, etc. Essential parts of Matysik’s artistic process include producing prototype models followed by conceptualisation and textual interpretation.
Clouds, 2013, plastics
The Clouds originally were developed for a work complex called River becomes Cloud. Matysik, who grew up in the indurstrial west of Germany, was invited to build an artwork as part of the conversion and renaturation project of one of the rivers, the Emscher, in this structurally challenged area. The artist designed a machine to transform the water of the Emscher at the point where it flows into the Rhine in Dinslaken – which is a wastewater-free section of the river – into cloud-forming steam. The power needed for the process was regeneratively derived from the river itself. In addition to the ‘cloud machine’, Reiner Maria Matysik installed an accessible, spherical station, where the Clouds were displayed.
Due to Matysik’s artwork, the river doesn’t simply cease to exist at this point, but parts of it are transformed into sky. The project raises questions on the extent to which renaturation or a conversion back to nature is at all possible.
System of Organs 1–3
Life: Reiner Maria Matysik
Reiner Maria Matysik is a Berlin based artist and Professor at the University of Art and Design in Halle (Burg Giebichenstein) for three-dimensional design. He studied fine arts at the Hochschule für bildende Künste Braunschweig and at the Ateliers Arnhem. He was a lecturer at the Institute of Visual Arts, Faculty of Architecture, Technical University Braunschweig; 2008–2009 visiting professor of sculpture at the Fachhochschule Kunst Arnstadt. He has exhibited his artworks frequently in Germany and abroad, and he is the recipient of grants from the Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes, Kunstfonds e.V., DAAD, KfW Bank, Stiftung NORD/LB Öffentliche, and the Berlin Senate.