by Rachel Withers
Various Useful Terms, Organised According to Strict Mathematical Principles, for the Appreciation of Krebberiana
Air. "Air can hurt you too" sang David Byrne. Krebber shares Byrne's askance look at ordinary stuff, but not his paranoia. Krebber's works let air come and go. If the air-oatmeal mix gets a little smelly (see Porridge)- no problem.
Blockage. Squeezed: the artwork that tried to escape through the gallery door! Hapless, misguided, overambitious object. Stuck fast, its blank, shiny face appeals to passers-by. Now the show is happening in the street! Surely this must be against the bye-laws?
Cling. Very clingy, that word "cling" (See Onomatopoeia) Krebber's glistening, icy, light-responsive surfaces (see Squeezed, Sheet) are actually multiple wrappings of clingfilm (See Dog). But it's the myriad tiny wrinkles and airpockets (not airlessness or suffocation) that catch our attention.
Dog- . Dog-prefixes: Useful for considering Krebber's approach. Dog-ears: see Sheet, Cardboard Box. Dog-legs: see Escape. The dictionary states: "Dog-" prefix equals spurious (see "dog-latin");. That glossy red stuff (see Pad) is not John McCracken, it's raspberry-red jelly.
Elegance. Down with elegance- enemy of radical art! Why? Krebber¹s pieces either discover elegance in inelegance- the bulging, the blobby, the leaning, the lopsided- or inelegance in elegance. It's a hard call. (Maybe "elegance" is just a by-product of clarity.)
Frozen. Glossy, polished, glassy, chilly. Sheet is a contrary mix of ideas- sheet-ice meets bedsheets- but the frostbite is solely visual (see Trebuchet). Skin sticks to icy surfaces, but Tin's pearly-grey aluminium dome only fixes your glance, not your fingers.
Gaseous. See Escape: A clingfilm-and-balloon emanation from under a loosened floor-tile in a corporate headquarters in Gelsenkirchen, Germany. It surged upwards, then changed its plans and veered off at ninety degrees. Students, compare and contrast: Escape and Manzoni: Fiato d'artista.
Ha ha ha. A funny thing, humour. "Look! Here is the world, which seems so dangerous! It is nothing but a game for children- just worth jesting about!" Freud¹s theory: humour equals the Superego's kindly return. Thus- no laughing matter!
Information. "The information of a message is in inverse proportion to its probability or predictability" (Roman Jakobson). "Information... the natural and necessary offspring of the unfamiliar" (Jon Thompson). Krebber's works are information-rich treats. ("Chocolate mousse? Oooh- too rich for me".)
Jelly. A jelly Puddle has flowed into a sharply-angled wedge-shape. Pad has a cleanly-defined rectilinear void at its centre. OK, we know these effects are artist-made, but the works still pique an irrational anxiety about inanimate substances thinking for themselves.
Kinks. Close relatives of dog-ears and dog-legs, Krebber's kinks permit freer air and information flows. Clingfilm-bound bobbles convert Sticks from rigid and regimented to kinky and bendy. Having quit its supporting role, Pillar has free time to enjoy its kink.
Levity and Lopsidedness. Giovanni Anselmo's granite-and-fresh-lettuce memorial; Gilberto Zorio's Column (with a rubber inner-tube squished underneath). Thompson's Gravity and Grace exhibits and Krebber's works seem in conversation, but the latter are somehow lighter: disarmingly, playfully, self-deflating. "Tuned down" writes Krebber.
Max Planck. A max. plank is any old outsized plank, but to the English reader, that redundant "c" in Planck is an arresting irritant, a snare for the eye. Krebber¹s "flat" pieces (Wing or Jaw) are definitely Plancks. See Trebuchet.
Normality. Eco¹s "open text" concept (see Um) now permeates assumptions about contemporary art- but is a text's "openness" or "closedness" down to its essential qualities, or its placement? Test: knock in the corners of a cardboard box; consider the result.
Onomatopoeia. Formation of words whose sound imitates the sound of the noise or action designated, e.g. hiss, buzz, bang... (C.16 via Late Latin from Greek onoma, name, and poiein, to make). Krebber's sculptures lend onomatopoeic resonances to their everyday titles.
Porridge. It seems Krebber loves snacking on the stuff. Blorp disgorged itself from a letterbox bashed in a political parties´ office wall. Its tail dangled helplessly on the other side, while airborne micro-organisms feasted on its oatmeal coat (see Air).
Quiddity 1) Philosophy: the essential nature of something. Compare haecceity. 2) A petty or trifling distinction; quibble. O.K., don't niggle- here¹s the definition of haecceity: the philosophy that uniquely identifies an object. (From Mediaeval Latin, haecceitas, literally: thisness.) Compare quiddity.
Railway toilet. An enigma- the writer hasn't seen this piece, but titles don't get much smellier. Something to file alongside Duchamp's Fountain, Beuys's Fat Stool and other items in the glorious history of "excretory" art objects? This brings us to-
Sewage. Rumours suggest that Krebber is presently working on a plan to illuminate the bed of a sewage canal, so that passers-by may contemplate turds, drifting by like carp. From goldfish to turdfish: Freud would surely have appreciated that metamorphosis.
Trebuchet. Coat-rack nailed to the floor by Marcel Duchamp. It snags at your trouser-turnups, visually. Mr Beak- two stacked orange dollops and a sourly downturned, asymetrical bill- offers to bite me, visually, if I risk endowing it with a personality.
Um. Umberto Eco: ".... the less conventional forms of _expression are, the more scope they allow for interpretation and the more ambiguous they can be said to be; since ordinary rules of _expression no longer apply, the interpretational scope becomes enormous."
Vertigo. Krebber's ‘Board’ is a parallel-sided slab, shallowly "folded" horizontally at an angle to its top and bottom edges. Leaning against the wall, top and bottom corners project out at an equal distance. Try it with a card. See Wobble.
Wobble. Didn¹t work, did it? Explanation: ‘Board’ has a sneaky extra section built in. One vertical side is longer that the other. But it doesn't show. Board just hangs out, performing its sneaky counterintuitive wobble for all who look carefully.
Xyster. Surgical instrument for scraping bone; surgical rasp or file (C17, from Greek: xuein, to scrape). Krebber surfaces: beautiful, lustrous, (s)lavishly prepared, vulnerable, improvised, disposable. Light glances over them. The surfaces relate to light as the objects relate to physical permanence.
Yield stress. "The stress level at which materials cease to behave elastically. The stress divided by the strain is no longer constant." Ring sags elastically like a semi-inflated tyre, but equally it looks rigid. Stresses and strains nicely balanced, then.