Ewerdt Hilgemann began working on so-called “implosions” of geometric hollow bodies in 1984. His cubic stainless-steel objects are slowly pumped empty of air using a vacuum pump (sometimes also by emptying the hollow body of the water it is filled with) and compressed by the external air pressure in the process. The outer shell is thereby preserved in its shining perfection and causes visual and analytical irritation in its viewers: the objects are dented without traces of external intervention, whereby it is made clearly evident that enormous force must have been at work here. The imploded final work represents the random product of a physical process and at the same time thematises the beauty and uniqueness of the geometrically imperfect. The bent objects convey an impressive presence and, in contrast with their original forms, enormous aesthetic expressive power. Hilgemann’s prototypes consist of carefully processed, stable stainless steel. Their internally consummating transformation is no sudden occurrence, but instead a powerful, slow metamorphosis. The process of the implosion is no happening here, but instead a creative act that manifests itself visibly in the finished work of art. Hilgemann’s finished implosions thus provide occasion for existential reflection. Internal transformations cause external alterations. The force expended remains tactile and tangible and makes a unique individual out of a uniform and perfect series product, with its own history and the fascination of personal charisma.
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