Gustav Troger

Materialprobe: Sieg über die Sonne, Kunst sich über die Natur lustig zu machen [Sample: Victory over the sun, the art of mocking nature], 2004

If we view this work from different positions, a variety of images is revealed. Troger employs materials such as concrete, mirrors, polyester and paint in order to create sculptures that fragment the complexity of reality with small pieces of mirror. On the inside of the panel that tilts up from the floor, the surrounding environment is refracted by the sunlight in the shards, reflected and transformed into a new reality. In this way the sculpture acts as a catalyst, making us think about the nature of reality.

The title of this work is also its programme: “Materialprobe: Sieg über die Sonne, Kunst sich über die Natur lustig zu machen" [Sample: Victory over the sun, the art of mocking nature]. Gustav Troger uses concrete, mirrors, polyester and paint, “testing” these materials – not in the literal sense of a mechanical endurance test, but in a metaphoric sense. Moving around this installative sculpture with its almost literary name, viewers will experience a series of internal and external images triggered off by the work.


Troger places the figure of a child on a rectangular concrete space on the grass, below a tilted wall of the same size that seems to have been folded out of the ground. The figure’s skin colour is chocolate brown, like that of certain dolls. Did the mirrored inner surface of the wall tan the body of the figure? Probably not, as the wall is placed at such an angle that it cannot reflect the sun. What triumphs over the sun here is nothing less than the will of the artist. It is his imagination alone that mocks nature.


"Material sample” is part of a long series of works in which Troger works with mirrors and reflections. By means of tiny mirror fragments, the artist optically dismantles seemingly unambiguously coded elements of a complex reality and their environment, ranging from a Porsche over (plastic) horses, columns and altars to a life-size model of caricature agent Austin Powers. Facts are thus questioned or at least removed from hasty classification. Objects become catalysts for questioning the nature of reality. The motto: how real is reality?

Author: Walter Titz 
Plan & Overview: Position 53
Owner: [Property of the foundation]
Biography: Gustav Troger  

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