The Technique

Living in the Namib Desert the natural phenomenon of fog occurring in deserts captured my attention. Fog settles on ephemeral earth surfaces without changing their aesthetic appearance and temporarily binds these surfaces. Inspired by this observation I dedicated the following years to permanently binding earth surfaces in various regions of the planet. Found and taken out of their origin in deserts, mountains and cities, they are thin crusts (3-7mm) of unchanged, original earth surfaces from 0,1m² up to 12 m². I gave my technique the descriptive name of DECRUSTATION  (from decrustare, Latin for to peel). DECRUSTATION transfers earth surfaces into earth objects in the context of art (de-contextualisation).
I will pass on the technique of DECRUSTATION in the context of the ORIGIN Production/Traveling Exhibition to initiate a worldwide open source art project.

The Objects

The objects themselves I call DECRUSTATES. They are found objects in the tradition of Marcel Duchamp’s ‚ready-mades‘ but of natural origin as opposed to industrial origin. The selection of regions and specific sites is determined conceptually through incorporating philosophical, social, political and economical aspects.
Once on site, my selection naturally is influenced by circumstances as I am not in control of the natural processes. Intuition is also playing an important role as I learn to rely on it more and more as part of survival.
People around the globe, regardless of their background and age, are intrigued by the elevation of the ground to eye level, thus the changing of perspectives. They are intrigued by the incomparable aesthetics. DECRUSTATES speak a universal language everybody can understand and connect to: This constitutes one of the biggest assets of my work and is one good reason to initiate the traveling exhibition ORIGIN. With these originals I am able to highlight most important ground-related topics: in the arts and culture, about land ownership, land distribution and management, about pollution, degradation and climate change.
I am not the originator of the works: I collaborate with the elements, the origin.
I do not add to the perfection of natural creation. The objects are what they are.
I call this ground truth.

The following gallery shows the DECRUSTATION process of the so far biggest
earth surface at my favorite site in the Namib Desert (see Rostock Ritz Desert Lodge)
and the preparation process to exhibit it.

23°33’51.54″S 15°50’57.14″E
Red Carpet
Africa SW, Namib E
12,0 m², 800 cm x 150 cm

See also the video decrustate sahara about the entire process creating a DECRUSTATE.

Within the traveling exhibition ORIGIN, the worldwide production of 25 m²
(5 m x 5 m)  DECRUSTATES is planned. For local and up-to-date integration, DECRUSTATES exhibitions are highlighted by DECRUSTATIONS of the exhibition’s own environment, i.e. an exhibition in Paris, France will be accompanied by DECRUSTATIONS of historically and environmentally significant places in and around Paris, also more distant locations, like ‚la Dune de Pyla‘ at Arcachon (highest wandering dune of Europe).
Local artists of the exhibiting host countries are also asked to participate with own concepts and works to the specific topics by choosing DECRUSTATES to go along with their own works.

Commissioned DECRUSTATION:
Commissioned DECRUSTATION around the globe of all shapes, sizes and topics is possible.