in a current exhibition galerie hoffmann presents works by pip culbert from the late 1990s. until the end of november the artist's fabric cut outs are on view alongside sculptures by friedhelm tschentscher. this viewing room presents—accompanied by excerpts from a text by patricia brignone—a selection of pip culbert’s works based on garments that point at the artist’s constructivist method, highlighting that many fashionable differences arise from a few, mostly geometric, construction plans:
the guiding principle that pip culbert has innovated is however the opposite to 'dissimulation' that we find in folding, because here we see a sort of celebration of uncovering. one might even say, of nudity
as gilles deleuze wrote in le pli: “a multiple is not only something which has many parts, but also something which is folded in many different ways" a never ending series of elements, one within the other. pip culbert works on many different objects which gives her work great variety. but it is the way that these objects are declined, using an unusual technique, that makes the work so singular and so ambitious, and at the same time, so entertaining and fragile. the guiding principle that the artist has innovated is however the opposite to 'dissimulation' that we find in folding because here we see a sort of celebration of uncovering. one might even almost say, of nudity.
one conviction which is echoed repeatedly throughout the artist's demonstration is a vision of the world without hierarchy, where the wrong side is as good as the right side. a point of view concerned with bringing inversion back into favor as a new form of logic, where a different view of the world is advocated, governed by radically different habits and behavior. the metamorphosis that pip culbert performs on things achieves the feat of transporting us to the other side of the minor, while making us accept its reality in the most natural way possible. in fact, as if at was common sense. in this. the artist shows herself to have inherited a certain type of wit which long ago adopted the absurd and nonsense as recognized values.
there is a popular expression in french which means ‘to escape from reality'. the artist seems to adhere smelly to this, and also to the principles of precise and rigorous investigations. one of these principles is the negation of volume, in favor of flattened out forms. this flatness is graphic and bereft of mass this way of treating a three-dimensional form that has become two-dimensional while cleverly simulating the idea of depth, comes from a virtual perception of objects, rather than a strictly euclidian view, which links it to both cubist experiments and those artists working with 3-d images. however, rather than the quite hazy analogy with virtual exploration, pip culbert's poetics are closer to manzoni's beautiful statement, with his play on inversion called "le socle du monde," or otherwise pistoletto's "objets en moins." the world seen from all angles, its perpetual renewal as well as its reversal are all signs of an attention which is unique in itself, which is presented to us by the watching eye of artists.
patricia brignone, 1998 (excerpt from "pip culbert, an excercise in subtraction," in "pip culbert – software," trans. peter frost (editions centre d’arts plastiques de saint-fons, 1998).