Vertical Highways A23 20
The bright red of Bettina Pousttchi’s “Vertical Highways” can be clearly seen from afar. Here, the artist playfully works with ordinary crash barriers. Even if the deformations might lead one to think these are damaged pieces, in fact Pousttchi uses only new material. She bends, squashes and twists the guard rails, joins them together anew, and stands them up vertically. Through the monochrome painting, she conflates the separate elements, leaning against each other, into a single visual whole, which seems to embody a living being: the sculptures seem like characters, dynamic, from some perspectives even unstable, and convey an impression of change and mobility. The artist often works with objects that serve to control movement in the public space. As she herself says: “We often don’t notice their regulatory function, and how they limit us.” By depriving these objects of their function, she exposes their aesthetic properties, giving them a newly perceivable form.
Bettina Pousttchi studied philosophy, art history and film theory in Cologne and Bochum, as well as fine art in Paris and Düsseldorf. She has exhibited internationally since 2001, and has been twice represented at the Venice Biennale.