You don´t know how wonderful dirt is
James Joyce, from a conversation with Siegfried Giedion

Exhibition text by Elettra Carnelli


The condition of the built environment reflects our society. The way we treat it says much about our desires, visions and ambitions. Architecture and urban design stand in an ongoing relationship with external influences and factors that define a certain epoch. The traces time and mankind leave behind are not always so easy to recognize, however: Something an inattentive eye might dismiss as a ruin or an abandoned plot may actually say a great deal about the condition and history of a place, and perhaps even foretell its future. How might such signs be made clearer, in order to thematize the material appearance of an epoch?

One possible approach lies in the artistic practices at the intersection of various disciplines, where the confrontation of different methods can contribute to productive and unexpected results. In the works by Patrick Ostrowsky the relationship between the artistic process and the surrounding space stands central, so that the resulting works are situated at the intersection between architecture and sculpture. An exploration of Ostrowsky’s works reveals not only a specific creative process inspired by the built environment, but also a method of representation that concentrates on the material aspect of places: remains, fragments and ruins. For this reason, Ostrowsky’s works may be appreciated not only for their compositional features, but also for their descriptive characteristics, as snapshots of a certain period in time.