Daniel von Sturmer
Born 1972, Auckland, New Zealand
Daniel von Sturmer is concerned with investigating the experience of public space, focussing specifically on the sequestered, privileged space of the art gallery. General Review of Gain and Loss, a collaborative exhibition with Leslie Eastman and Andy Thomson, transformed the gallery into a labyrinth of corridors, using screens and windows, camera obscura and video projections to turn the space outside–in, dismantling the various framing devices which separate a picture from its context, a gallery from its surroundings, art from 'everyday life'. Plane, where von Sturmer excised a section of the gallery wall and replaced it with plate glass, continued this style of intervention, for as it 'opened up' the gallery spaces to one another, multiplying lines of visibility and points of contact, the solid plane of glass barred access, evoking the 'look but don't touch' conditioning of the well-behaved gallery visitor.
The other element of von Sturmer's practice is video, a medium seemingly incompatible with these spatial interventions. Science Fiction features a loop of five 'tricks', simple gags mostly done by running the video backwards – a blob of plasticine 'miraculously' regains its cuboid shape; a blob of blu–tac leaps up to attach itself to a fingertip; the surface of the water in a glass tilts weirdly sideways as in a force field. Projected onto a wall–mounted perspex screen, the video's studio backgrounds blend into the gallery surroundings so that these little stunts become dematerialised presences within the gallery itself, 'works of art' in the obvious, slightly silly sense. Their tricksiness, then, wittily calls attention to the privileges of the exhibition space, where, temporarily, the rules (in this case, of physics) do not apply.
Russell Smith from his Samstag catalogue essay, Making The Makers
2002 Anne & Gordon Samstag International Visual Arts Scholarship
2002 MFA, The Sandberg Institute, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
1999 Master of Arts by Research, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Melbourne
1996 Bachelor of Arts (Fine Arts) (Honours), Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Melbourne