I am interested in how we situate ourselves within a mechanized society. My work questions the physical and psychological structures that make up our everyday, ranging from essential building structures such as electrical wiring, to the basic conduct of how people communicate and behave. Since the human drive is not only to make things work but to constantly better the functionality of an object or system, as well as our selves, it conjures the question of sustainability. If we are always searching, looking for something better, when are we satisfied? And most importantly what are we looking for? My work turns this question of sustainability inward, addressing the viewer, rather than examining outside sources.
These questions are investigated using color, light, and textiles to create a sensory experience taking shape in objects and room-sized installations. Light is used to direct the viewer or make visible an electrical structure, either specific to the space or diagrammatic. Electroluminescent wire, which produces a continuous line of light, is applied in site-specific line drawings that perceptively dominate and change the space. The environments immerse the viewer in a phenomenological experience. I also create hand-constructed textile objects, titled PLAYMATES, which invite interaction with the audience.
One site-specific installation titled ‘See you at the top’ (exhibited in Switzerland) consists of an upside-down “mountain” constructed out of vinyl cloth that is suspended from the ceiling around the central light fixture of the room. The “mountain’s” glowing presence dominates the space - its radiating light enhances the vinyl fabric folds, enforcing the structural jaggedness of the mountainous construction, while exposing the utilitarian green daisy flower printed tablecloth by seeing the manufacturer’s design from the back shine through. The viewer negotiates the space with little maneuvering room, at once being drawn to the light while unsure of the soundness of the construction.
This installation, inspired by the Swiss countryside and lifestyle, addresses current issues that I’m exploring in my work. The Mountain, a Swiss icon used to communicate a national identity, is also a key symbol in motivational and self-help literature, where a mountain becomes a symbol for hard work and endurance needed to reach your goals. Through turning the mountain upside-down, ‘See you at the top’ is an invitation to question the endurance of the tough climb to the unknown – perhaps we are already there.
Aiming to entice the viewer through a point of recognition and familiarity in the constructed objects and environments in a perceptual and sensory way, the work then has the possibility to create associations for the viewer, which leads to a heightened sense of awareness of how these elements manifest themselves in their life and what kind of role they play.
Exhibition: Simple Machines and Simple Dreams October 6 - 27, 2012 at Redbud Gallery in Houston, TX
A simple machine is an elementary device - a lever, wheel and axle, pulley, inclined plane, wedge, or screw - that has a specific movement, which can be combined with other devices and movements to form a machine. A simple dream is not as easily defined. One could start to describe it as a desire to an idyllic state of being, which is subjective. For example, a dream of leading a simple life surrounded by a majestic and idyllic landscape is quite different than a dream of advancing up the social ladder to enjoy the simple pleasures that promise to wait at the top. What is our simple dream? Though hard to describe perhaps the secret lies in simple gestures similar to the specific mechanical movements of a simple machine to get the ball rolling.
The exhibition ‘Simple Machines and Simple Dreams’ features three new bodies of work – picturesque landscapes, comfort drawing studies, and an installation with soft light sculptures. The Picturesque Landscapes are a humorous demonstration of simple mechanics in an idyllic landscape, employing pulley, gears, etc to insert foreign objects into the great outdoors. The Comfort Studies are still life drawing studies of a decorative throw pillow in locomotion with black chalk on white felt. The main installation consists of three soft sculptures – a chair, a ladder, and an outboard motor. The ladder, sewn out of vinyl tablecloth with each rung illuminated from within, is strung up in space via a pulley system, using a crestfallen soft sculpture of an outboard motor sewn with synthetic crushed rabbit velvet as a counter weight. The chair, also sewn out of a decorative vinyl tablecloth, is installed high on a wall, with the light that’s emanating from the seat cushion reflecting on the ceiling. Perhaps one could use the ladder to climb rung by rung to reach the chair at the top…
‘Going Undercover’ is a site-specific installation by Ariane Roesch to be installed during the TX Contemporary Art Fair held at the George R Brown Convention Center in Houston, TX. It consists of a sewn cover for a 20-foot shipping container and a light installation.
The phrase “going undercover” has the connotation of both exposing and hiding. The decorative felt cover, alluding to appliance covers, creates a soft edge for the container – a silly attempt at hiding the unmistakable steel structure and standardized dimensions of a shipping container. Inside, the walls are bare and one can see the corrugated steel pattern. Yet the red light lines are dedicated to exposing the structural seams of the felt cover on the outside.
Drawings: For what it's worth
Ink and Pencil on vellum graph paper
Installation: Rock it to Success
June 25 - July 10, 2011 (Intimacies Group Exhibition at The Farley Building)
'Rock it to success', 2011, chalk on wall, variable
Music and Performance: How hard can it be? 2011
‘How hard can it be?’ is a grouping of songs inspired by learning electrical wiring. The lyrics are constructed from various phrases taken directly from how-to manuals. These phrases, now taken out of context, present a much larger lesson about life and how we should navigate through society. For example, the song 'How hard can it be?' is constructed from electrical safety instructions, yet “Never work with wet feet” presents a truism that goes beyond electrical safety.
The acoustic set with song and ukulele renders Roesch rather vulnerable and reminds on busking, placing the piece in a folk realm. The use of the ukulele is specific due to it being an unassuming, economical, and simple to learn instrument.
Addition not Subtraction by Ariane Roesch
at Gallery Sonja Roesch, 2011
Installation: How to Conduct Yourself
April 3 - 9, 2011
‘How to conduct yourself’ is a play on the word “conduct”. To conduct oneself at once means to direct a course, to serve as a channel or medium, and to behave. The installation outlines the path of electricity, or power, from a hidden source that is multiplied to exit through the several channels, or outlets, in the wall only to get connected back together to one cord that then powers the heating pad. The conducting channel or medium then becomes the heating pad that radiates the electrically produced heat, which is then available to be transferred to the viewer via touch.
Installation: Take the Path of Least Resistance October 23 - Dec 4 , 2010
‘Take the Path of Least Resistance’ is an investigation that takes shape as series of drawings and a light installation. The heating coil shape is transformed into a diving board for visual analysis of what it means to take the path of least resistance and its social implications. The drawings create a mind map of offbeat conclusions that are drawn by using the heating coil diagram as a starting point and juxtaposing it with similar drawings that relate physically and psychologically.
Installation at Art Scan Rudolph Projects, Houston, TX
Installation: See you at the top!
July 2, 2010
‘See you at the top’ -- a site-specific installation by Ariane Roesch at Horse Law Press, located at Bremgartnerstr. 3, 8003 Zuerich – is an upside-down "mountain" suspended from the ceiling of the studio/ installation space, and reflects Roesch's current investigations of proportion, scale, inversion/subversion, and regional (Swiss) iconography.
As the result of the Horse Law Press Residency in Switzerland, ‘See you at the top’ is inspired by the Swiss countryside and lifestyle. The national symbol of a mountain, used in various Swiss advertisements, also is a key symbol in motivational and self-help books (often used in corporate office culture), where a mountain becomes a symbol for hard work and endurance needed to reach your goals.
‘See you at the top!’ is an invitation to question the endurance of the tough climb to the unknown - perhaps we are already there.
January 28 - 30, 2010
In ‘UNWIND’, EL wires mirror the existing electrical wiring necessary for the lighting of the exhibition space. This electrical structure, though not pronounced, is still visible through a steel ceiling grid. Following this constructed path, but exaggerating their movements, the EL wires droop into the space, seemingly starting to unravel. The steel ceiling grid is used like an oversized fabric mesh, with the EL Wires weaving through it as they take over the space. The room is dark, filled only with a soft red glow from the red EL wires.
Installation: The Rescue at the Firehouse
May 29, 2009 – June 30, 2009
‘The Rescue at the Firehouse’ is a site-specific installation by Ariane Roesch for SNATCH BLOCK PROJECTS inaugural exhibition, located at 1196 Metropolitan Ave in Brooklyn, NY, that explores the architecture and function of the space through delineating connections with red, orange, and yellow Electroluminescent Wires.
Roesch’s work creates narratives by setting up connections that call into question human relationships and interactions within an increasingly technologically driven society. Intrigued by SBP’s location inside an old Firehouse Station, ‘The Rescue at the Firehouse’ points towards preexisting architectural elements, such as the fire poles, as anchors for the installation. As the wires snake through the space along the walls, ceiling, and floor - splitting then meeting up again – they thread through several mechanical regulatory devices only to end and unravel in human hands, situated inside a closet that used to house a fire pole.
Snatch Block Projects is an off-shoot from Firehouse Studios, which was established in 2000 and serves as the home studio of sculptors John Clement and Arthur Mednick. SBP, an exhibition residency program, currently is occupying a 2nd floor gallery above the studio.
installation anchored by original placement of the firepoles
Installation: HOT and grounded at 13 ‘HOT AND GROUNDED at 13’ is a site-specific installation by Ariane Roesch at the 13 Celsius Wine Bar, located at 3000 Caroline Street, that explores the architecture and social culture of the space through delineating connections with red and green light wires.
Roesch’s work creates narratives by setting up connections that call into question human relationships and interactions within an increasingly technologically driven society. Toying with the Christmas Holiday timing and decoration, the Red and Green wires refer to actual electrical wire coding – Red being the active or ‘Hot’ wire, whereas Green means neutral or ‘Grounded’ wire. As they snake through the space, converging in certain spots before splitting up again, they connect to different images. The ‘grounded’ wire runs between a machine and wine bottles, whereas the ‘hot’ wire connects a man toiling away at a machine to a man embracing a woman.
Publication: SPOT Magazine
Series: Sexy Machines
Exhibition: Houston Area Exhibition at Blaffer Gallery
Exhibition: BIOTOP at tmp.deluxe
in this column-installation, photography is put together with yarn to explore man's relationships and interaction with technology. Two women in front of computers are connected with each other through red, orange, and yellow yarn. Even though they are looking at each other on the same surface, the "cables" are cumbersomely laid around the column...
photo by Dirk Rathke
photo by Dirk Rathke
'Vernetzung (Networking)', 2008
Silkscreen on wood with yarn
photo by Sebastian Mueller
The office imagery used for the 5x7 Benefit, inspired the continuation of exploring relationships among people in the work environment, especially inside of an office conference room. The color of the string was always based on a primary color for the main focus and then moved into secondary colors.
'Office:conference 2 (the signing)', 2007 Xerox print on Vellum with thread
size 5"x7" inches
'Office:conference 3 (watching the sailboats)', 2007 Xerox print on Vellum with thread
size 5"x7" inches
'Office:conference 4 (passions fly high)', 2007 Xerox print on Vellum with thread
size 5"x7" inches
'Office:conference 2 (nobody on the same page)', 2007 Xerox print on Vellum with thread
size 5"x7" inches