Convex – Concave

Looking ahead at certain aspects of Robert F. Hammerstiel’s most recent works


Out of the Blue deals with the surface (effects) of materials used for packing diverse commodities which, when reduced to their formal aesthetics, function as the convex-concave dispositive of perception. We see the form of the objects (such as various types of knives or a dildo) but the objects themselves are invisible; merely their formal structure still refers to them. These physically absent objects are present only through the empty forms of the packaging material. The physical absence of the object becomes a presence in the empty form of the packing material. This is where Robert Hammerstiel establishes a link with an older work, with Inside Out of 1993. What was then an entity (subject/object and packaging) is now transformed into an interaction between presence and absence.

Both work groups deal with central themes in the artist’s oeuvre (identity, artificiality, homeland, patterns of representation, etc.), but transfer them to the levels of visibility and invisibility. It is about representational effects created by textures that become mutated into real (picture) surfaces by the specificity of photographic transfer. This “prospective archaeology”, in Pierre Bourdieu’s sense, describes and records physical existence as a post identity habitude.

Carl Aigner, Wien 1992