Monday 28 July 2014

Interview with Gustav Metzger

Gustav Metzger: interview

Gustav Metzger: Lift Off!
Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge
24 May – 31 August 2014

“When I was young I wanted art that would lift off, that would levitate, gyrate, bring together different – perhaps contradictory  – aspects of my being. The search for – the need to encapsulate varying kinds of contradictory elements, the urgency of stopping sharp – extinct – twist and: razor-sharp endpoint. After the experience, we expand, reconnect with a normality which is not the same as it was. But normality once changed is not the same.” [Untitled, handwritten note by Gustav Metzger, p.2 exh. cat.]

Although Metzger (born in Nuremberg, Germany, in 1926) is better known for his Auto-Destructive Art, he was simultaneously developing its counterpart, Auto-Creative Art, in the same lecture demonstrations and manifestos that took place from 1959. The current exhibition of his works at Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge, focuses on the lesser-known Auto-Creative works, contextualising these against film and archive footage. It is a significant homecoming for the artist who studied at the Cambridge School of Art in 1945.

Studio International was lucky enough to meet Metzger in his London Fields studio. After a brief chat about the magazine, with Metzger recalling his two contributions from March and October 1969, we turn to talk about his work, his motivations, and his scientifically driven techniques.

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