Catalog text for the exhibition “Signs in Perspective”, Sofia 1999
Without text, conceptual art is unthinkable. Text is the key vessel of the idea that is subsequently realized in the artifact. Often it is the text alone that bears witness to the existence of an artwork. Text has long since been separated from its usual function of mere description and explanation: it has become a work of its own, whose value rests less in content than in the additional material form that the artist has accorded it. Without altering the content that rests at its base, the text changes form, and as a consequence its meaning changes as well, the latter having nothing in common with the letters, words and sentences making up its skeleton.
The Austrian artist Ingrid Gaier is interested in precisely this metamorphosis of text, in the way in which it becomes an object. Her artistic search takes as its point of departure the visual, aesthetic level and advances to the immaterial. Gaier creates a new, plastic construction of the abstract textual fabric. Her “text” becomes a modern scriptio continua, a continuous script whose meaning is in flux, and which loses itself in the infinite ...
The ATA Center for Contemporary Art is committed to demonstrating the great multiplicity of directions in which conceptual art is moving, and to shedding light on the various standpoints taken in interpreting it. Is there a better opportunity to open the floodgates for an open exchange of ideas? The exhibition of Ingrid Gaier’s work offers a wonderful opportunity to see how the artifact-text might function in an interesting new context, and to attempt to fathom the message it conveys to us.
Ilina Koralova 1999