In this two-day course Tobias Putrih explores the techniques and philosophical resonances of camouflage. The artist traces how these have been developed and implemented throughout modernity, from Adolf Loos's conception of the White City to Apple Computers and Roger Caillois's conjectures on mimicry, finishing with a discussion of current strategies of disappearing.
On the second day Putrih conducts a workshop introducing practical examples of camouflage responding to the Hayward Gallery itself. This involves a discussion and 're-enactment' of the 'hypothetical disappearance of the visitor inside museum' as well as a study of the texture of the building's facade and modes of disappearance against this backdrop.
Approximate duration: two hours on Thursday 28 June, three hours on Friday 29 June
Tobias Putrih (b.1972, Kranj, Slovenia)
Tobias Putrih describes his fragile structures, which range from small modular, toy-like objects to large installations and environments, as 'anti-objects'. Made from everyday materials such as cardboard, polystyrene blocks and plywood, his works often appear precarious, temporary and provisional and resemble models or prototypes. They address the high ideals of Modernism, such as social utopias, modern architecture and the evolution of cinema, investigating their promises and failures. Putrih is inspired by visionary architects and intellectuals including Frank Lloyd Wright, Buckminster Fuller, and Adolf Loos, the German educationalist Friedrich Froebel and the French thinker Roger Caillois. Putrih, who studied physics before turning to art, says: 'I don't think art is about consistency; it's about complexity ... The key question for me is how to make an object that expresses its own self-doubt, questions its own existence.' His installation Overhang (a collaboration with MOS architects), shown at Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead, in 2009, was a styrofoam structure on the constant verge of collapse.