Whether they are intrusive advertisements for internet porn, ludicrous performances for the Guinness Book of Records, the massive image problem of the feminist movement or urban gardening as a green revolt against the sad grey of many an inner city – they are nonetheless always current societal developments and phenomena with which Elisabeth Windisch grapples in her works.

Reality, for her, is simultaneously starting point and artistic material. Emanating from a certain questioning, observation or idea, she develops space-embracing installations with which she reacts to each exhibition site and thus specifically accentuates the found situation. To the most part she uses everyday materials and objects but displays them in unusual forms, contexts and relationships rendering new, unexpected and often irritating meanings. The open-endedness of her works is elementary for the artist. The artwork functions as an experiment in which time and (chemical) reactions play a decisive role and determine, in part, the end result.

To obtain her diploma from the Düsseldorf Art Academy, Elisabeth Windisch constructed a 500 kilo ambrosia, the biggest jelly pudding in the world. Titled AMBROSIA OFFICIALLY AMAZING it was a minimalist sculpture, but over the period in which it was exhibited, gradually broke into pieces. The warm temperature in the room caused the disintegration of its form. “Frauengold” also involved the interplay between conception and creative coincidence. The work was completed, amongst other things, via a similarly incalculable as well as uncontrollable factor: the exhibition visitor. For their ambiguity these large scale and simultaneously, most fragile sculptures of flour, tempted the viewer to touch them, thus causing their original form to be irreparably destroyed.

In her current works Elisabeth Windisch concerns herself with the moment of breeding. In laboratory situations, artificial crystals can be generated from potassium alum sulphate. They spread and grow independently. Such controlled propagation in biology is described by the term “breeding” (in German Zucht): here, desired properties are strengthened and undesirable properties suppressed. In the process of breeding valued judgements are decided upon regarding what is permitted to exist and what not. Elisabeth Windisch’s breeding of crystals become performative sculptures that reflect their own processes of creation as well as striving for optimisation and transformation of that which exists.

Art and reality. Elisabeth Windisch transfers phenomena in the field of art and in so doing makes the complex mechanisms, rules and value systems of the art establishment visible. In so doing she is permanently alternating as actor and observer between the inner and outer perspective, she succeeds in observing the societal reality and the system of art with different eyes.

Anne Schloen