Tobias Spichtig makes visible what it is to be left behind. Rooms are crowded with unwanted fridges; sticky, glazed garments stand erect and bereft of host bodies; mattresses stretch from walls to confronting walls, their sheets grime-clad and sullied from use. These are, perhaps, the memories that we cannot help but have, but can never come to cherish; the rusty, long-since discarded stage-sets within which we have rehearsed, refined and, ultimately, performed the narratives that we actually hold dear. A 2016 sculpture takes the title LET IT ALONE, THOU FOOL; IT IS BUT TRASH. In Spichtig’s work, this exorcism can never take place. ‘Long Stories’, the Swiss artist’s latest exhibition at Jan Kaps, comes accompanied by a fictional tale, written by Theresa Patzschke, which speaks of love, loss and mundanity, and the seemingly innocuous decisions that lead us to each. The final line reads: ‘You walk into the dark forest with small, deep blue flowers.’ There, the sweet, sensuous details that enrich our happiest memories. In an accompanying image, we find the trodden crud that we can’t seem to shake: an exhausted sofa, its pillows muddy brown and unmanned.
- Harry Thorne