David Prytz: Exocenter

03.05.17 — 30.06.17

Text by Anna Redeker



The word “exocenter” is a neologism that refers to the way we organize ourselves in our surrounding and how we comprehend our existence in relation to the world we live in. Derived from the concepts of geocenter and heliocenter – both of them made up to locate the human being at a certain point within the universe – the exocenter describes the lack of a definite center and how any point that is somehow in relation to others will be a center by itself.


David Prytz uses coordinate systems like the Cartesian to create structures, that refer to the universe and space. By doing so, he investigates the complexity of time and space and the relativity of the concept of a center. By treating every element as a center for itself, questions of eternity, infinite space and our individual rules and affections are being asked.

The three large scaled drawings show geometrical figures, which seem to be at the same time precisely constructed and spontaneously sketched onto the paper. David Prytz created them by using his own drafts in which he combines sketches of the five elements and text fragments, both in reference to Euclid. The fairly wide background of the large exhibited drawings refers to the blank space which our surrounding and the surrounding of any imaginable element consists of. Instead of being able to imagine the whole wide space which lies above our imagination, we assume it to be just a surrounding of our own existence. In his drawings, David Prytz seem to chart a system of relations and imaginations, of interacting elements and explanations.

The practice of using texts and charts as a basis for his abstract drawings shows the idea of Prytz that language – also in abstract modifications – is an essential part of developing a structured system. He carries on this idea of language as a crucial aspect of evolution in the audio piece he created for the exhibition. It is a looped recording without end and beginning, evolving from breathed sounds to all the sounds of the phonetic alphabet. Entitled ​In a minute a thousand years (45000), ​it examines the processes of how language developed and the human ability to use it in order to create and comprehend the system we live in.

The three sculptures, made out of different materials such as gold, silver, copper, aluminum, tin, zinc and plastic, appear as rough and fragile at the same time. The shapes of the sculptures are based on the drawings and are formally continuing previous installations by David Prytz. Contextualized with this new body of work that is now on view at Galleria Mario Iannelli, they are supposed to visualize a system of single elements, put in relation to each other. The titles of the works – ​Exocenter (Dumb Alchemy)​, ​Erde ohne Mond (Dumb Alchemy)​ and ​Mond allein (Dumb Alchemy)​ are emphasizing the recent occupation of the artist with the universe and the irrationalities of trying to define time and space. The viewer gets reminded of a system of planets, all of them relating to each other. The shape is closed and structurally unified within itself, but only exists within its external surrounding since it is only possible to locate it in relation to other space- or time defining elements.

The series Un/Chartered is made out of brass, cut in rectangles and mounted on aluminum bars. The title refers to the ability to transfer the world we live in into charts, maps and plans while there are always certain areas which are impossible to record or locate on a map – like the first word ever spoken was never recorded and the location of a planet, millions of light-years away, was never mapped. David Prytz created the shapes according to four corner points, being in a certain constellation to each other. Each and every corner represents the specific location of Mercury, Venus, Earth or Mars, the aluminum bar marks the distance to the sun. The specific arrangements of the corner points orientate to the constellation of the four planets on a certain date, like for example their specific position they had when the first kind of writing system was invented 3500 years BC. The resulting shapes are not only evidence of an ever moving system in which every protagonist stands for its own and in relation to each other, but also incorporate a materialization of an energy field, caused by metaphysical forces of immanence and transcendence. While we are tending to map and chart our world in relation to our own systems and perceptions, we will be always surrounded by an unknown space that stays unchartered and invisible.


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