Posted:Jul 1, 2007

Florian Claar “Solaris 2”

In Stanislaw LEM’s Solaris a crew of scientists is brought to a planet that is covered in flowing organic matter.

The planet functions as a conscious living organism that reaches into the minds of the crewmembers and begins to reconstruct their surrounding reality with their memories.

In artist Florian Claar’s installation Solaris: second chamber one small part of the “Prometheus”-the orbiting space station in the novel- is recreated in fine George Lucas-like detail complete with a series of hatch doors and porthole windows in the Roppongi gallery, Weißfield – Röntgenwerke AG.

Claar’s interest isn’t so much in recreating a scene from the book, but instead to take an element from the book and use it as a basis to explore his own mind and memory. The main part of the installation is a series of streetlights placed on small brownish islands that form a network of eerie suburban roads. This sculpture is seen again mixed with several layers of space and planetary imagery in a digital video playing in one of the portholes.

Another smaller piece sits in a small alcove to the left of the room. Standing on four small legs, an egg carton-like sculpture created a tiny microcosm of gypsum-white mountains. A projector flashed down upon the little landscape with the shifting colors of seasons and geography making for an entrancing simulation of nature.

In the empty gallery -so quiet on a Friday morning- the whir of the projectors and the mellowed glow of the videos combined to make for a complete dream experience. The combination of the natural, the sci-fi fantastic and the universally modern totem of the streetlight make for a curious beginning to a potential narrative. The familiarity of Claar’s streetlights echoed a sense of being domestic and reassuring, but somehow not entirely so -like being totally lost but knowing you are in your own neighborhood.

Andrew Conti

Andrew Conti

Born 1977. Graduated Parsons School of Design New York, New York. Andrew is an artist currently using paint and styrofoam to fabricate mechanized emotions. He moved to Tokyo at the end of 2002 where he has been based as an artist and writer.