Nr. 333, 2002. Stainless steel, 316 x 280 x 211 cm.

Carlo Borer: Peculiar Geometries

Carlo Borer’s recent steel sculptures stand in the landscape, or in exhibition spaces, like messengers from another reality. Their strangeness is not overbearing, but the longer you look at them the more you surmise that their forms stubbornly deny comparison. Despite their rounded contours, these works do not make an organic impression in the sense of biomorphic natural growth—the curves change direction too abruptly, the lines are too unpredictable, the cuts and angles between the individual surfaces are not functional enough. The peculiar geometry of these gleaming chrome or, lately, rusted steel structures stands in an unclassified zone between natural charm and technoid construction. Many of these sculptures circle around themselves; some form a system of closed rings or loops that intersect at different points. Their closed formal nature also makes them seem hermetically sealed in an emotional way, neither understandable by pure reason nor intuitively approachable. The Swiss artist acknowledges that some of his works have a certain “psychedelic quality” due to this irresolvable strangeness. With the exception of a few works, Borer leaves his sculptures untitled, so he foregoes the possibility of determining their effect or guiding the viewer’s imagination. The real reason for the confusing formal quality of his sculptures lies in their origins in virtual space. The forms do not arise from dealing with steel as a material. They do not relate to natural models, nor do they result from a confrontation with the tradition of abstract sculpture. For Borer, form defines itself primarily via possibilities presented by computer technology: he develops almost all of his sculptures with the aid of special CAD programs.