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the guardians of time on worldtournee

“Time guardians”

Cloaked in concrete-like or otherwise putrid variegated cloth, Manfred Kielnhofer’s “time guardians” seem to be plotting against time or maybe avidly watching time television- is that a medieval joke or what? Like conspiratory monks in a deathless desultory demeanor, they exude an ominous lack of life as if in a ghost parade freshly arisen from the depths of the Artpark crypt. They blatantly stand here, gnarled and unfazed, making time. Are we lost in a movie, “Lord of the ring”- wise or is it a gathering of the Adams family in new Taliban unglamourous style? So welcome to the new dark ages. Kielnhofer’s “time guardians” stand like silent monoliths of veiled knowledge in a sculpture garden, seemingly quarantined or time travelling, the only prop missing is the scythe. The grim reaper has come with his zombie posse- they’re decaying morosely in the open, guarding time in an esoteric Disneyland of sinister and unsavory folds. Their significance or arthistorical relevance lies in the eye of the beholder. Regardless, they are meant to evoke ancient times in their secretive hocus-pocus despondency, allegedly and all the more uncannily. Draped in mute and unholy light, they seem to be placidly heralding the big world conspiracy, admonishing and demolishing time concepts. Equivocally, Kielnhofer’s work is a tribute to life and death, entwined, dilated and lost in time. The “time guardians” are maybe hooded knights in disguise, hiding the light within the moldy creases of their robes, fighting without armor against time.

A review by Catherine Pandora

Austrian artist Manfred Kielnhofer’s Time Guardians are mysterious sculptures that resemble cloaked and hooded figures that are silent observers of the passage of time. The sculptures have appeared in indoor and outdoor installations, looking for all the world like a very focused procession of beings deep in contemplation. The sculptures appear to be concrete, but are actually hollow folds of treated textile. Ghosts? Grim Reapers? Or maybe simple witnesses …


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