In Christoph Weber’s most recent work concrete is a basic element of his primary sculptural gesture. To him the symbolic energy and the nature of this material are of immanent importance; through concrete the act itself of working with the material emerges as a performative aspect.
Destructivity exists in Weber’s work in a complex inter-relationship with construction and materiality. In his exhibition “loose concrete” he also prominently employs a second material: clay. Weber hurls clay at the long wall of the gallery, inscribes the kinetic energy into the material, and as a wall mural (genre) makes reference to the sometimes ten-meter-high concrete wall in Jerusalem that as a barrier only displaces the aggression it pretends to prevent.
The series of pairs of concrete slabs, from which a corner of one has been removed and incorporated “onto” the other, makes the traces of aggression visible in the material in an entirely different way. By contrast, “Untitled (Base)” deals with the very process of the formation of concrete. For this, a formwork will be set up on the ground outside the exhibition. Water will then be poured around the inside edges of this mold into which a mixture of cement and sand has been packed. For the opening of the exhibition the mixture along the edges will have set, forming a fragile concrete square.
The series “Petroglyphen” (petroglyphs) represents the pictorial approach in Weber’s work. By scratching away the surface of the wall, Weber produces silhouettes of people before the concrete barrier. Man’s helplessness in the face of the size and power of the concrete sections of wall become emotionally perceptible.
Another more graphic approach can be seen in Weber’s “Betonsprayungen” (concrete sprayings), in which he uses a squirt bottle to “draw” Bauhaus buildings in Tel Aviv into a mixture of sand and cement. This work expresses the architecturally constructive and positively connoted use of concrete.
The “Tonzeichnungen” (clay drawings), in which Weber uses a needle to scratch scenes into wet clay, address the subject of attacks and military operations by both sides in the Middle East conflict. The clay slabs hang on the wall inside white metal cabinets, which are opened only for a brief viewing to prevent the clay from drying out. Each cabinet shows Israeli and Palestinian events and the victims of the reciprocal production of violence.