Silvia Hatzl at Rosenfeld Porcini Gallery

The gallery was filled with diaphanous shapes that were, mostly, recognisable as bodies without mass, that is to say, almost skins. At first, it seemed like a costume show, and in a sense it was: Hatzl’s work is about “the illusion of clothing as a concealment of human nakedness” (RP press-release). She makes the structures out of a range of materials: linen, silk, cotton, paper, intestines, and then accents them with rust, pigment, ashes, or mortar, thereby achieving a great variety of surface effects and weights. The audience engaged with the work in a way I haven’t really seen in many shows: as people stood around the objects, sipping cava, the air currents caused the sculptures to sway gently, quite like eviscerated skins brought back to life.

To some extent, Hatzl evokes Eva Hesse and Louise Bourgeouis in their use of organic materials (for instance, latex rubber) to evoke the bodily, the fragile, the human, the feminine, in sculptural art. The references aside, I’m not sure there is a great deal of “creepiness” to Hatzl’s work, nor any particular profundity – it really is mostly about the materials, and they are lovely.