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Schälling | Enderle

text by Sofie Verbrugghen & Olaf Man Singh Pradhan, april 2024

VMSP_Duo_w_1    Schälling | Enderle « Duo » 2008 Sculpture Petit Granit Ø 17,5 x h 23 cm / ø 17,5 x h 23 cm

The convergence of artistic means of expression, historical reference and environmental awareness characterises Schälling | Enderle's approach to their work. Their engagement with the medium of natural stone encompasses a deep appreciation for the qualities of the natural environment, a recognition of the central role of stone in the early development of civilisation, but also an awareness of the environmental impact of industrial stone quarrying. Through their work, the artists attempt to navigate the complexity of these intertwined themes.

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In their practice, the artists engage with the harsh reality of stone quarrying and its damaging effects on the environment. They experience first-hand the destruction of habitats and the disruption of ecosystems caused by industrial stone quarrying. As a result, they made documenting the "as-is" situation in the quarries a central aspect of their work. These momentary impressions, worked out in various techniques, partly as sculptures, partly as frottages, contrast the beauty of the material with the destructive effects of human intervention in nature.

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The large-format frottages are created by directly working on the demolition edges. In the form of a lithographie directe, they are the last testimony to a process that created this particular rock formation hundreds of millions of years ago.

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Their sculptures are often an interplay of stone and various typical building materials such as wood and unite the basic elements of architecture in a reduced, formal design. Interlocking layers create architectural-looking passages that add an active and meaningful dimension. The variety of materials, sizes, colours and textures - from solid to permeable, from fragile to stable, from precise to imprecise, from symmetrical to asymmetrical, from smooth to rough - lend the sculptures a lively dynamism despite their formal reduction. 

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Inspired by the spiritual traditions of Shintoism and animism, the artists cultivate a deep appreciation of nature. These Japanese philosophies teach that every aspect of the natural world contains a sacred component, fostering a deep respect for the connection between humans and the environment. Based on these principles, Schälling | Enderle's art conveys a sense of wonder and reverence for the beauty of natural stone and encourages the viewer to reflect on their relationship with the environment and our natural resources.

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At the same time, the artists recognise the historical importance of stone in the development of human civilisations. They are fascinated by the creativity and craftsmanship of ancient civilisations, whose monumental buildings are a testament to the enduring legacy of stone quarrying. They are aware of the central role that stone has played in shaping civilisation and technological progress, thus deepening their understanding of the cultural and historical value of natural stone. In this way, their art becomes a powerful tool to advocate for sustainability and environmental protection, embodying the transformative potential of creativity in addressing pressing environmental issues.

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