Dance with the devil

by Stefanie Dathe

To a certain degree Bodo Korsig represents the ideal
of a renaissance artist, a universally talented and
interested artist who is not only working with traditional
materials and sculptural ways to express himself
but who takes in as well philosophy and sciences. He
became famous with his unconventional sculptures,
wall objects and the surprisingly big sized woodcarvings
that are printed with a road roller. During the last
years he has been creating over 30 artist books with
texts from international authors and besides all these
activities he took a very close look at ceramics. The
relation is obvious: every artistic genre is a part of a
morphologic shape repository from a reduced iconography
that reminds us the origins of the pictorial art.
Bodo Korsig’s sculptural modelling language gains its
impressive monumentality from an archaic, rough
vocabulary that aims at the power of graphic lines. Its
focus lies on abstract graphic symbols and a strict
refining of shape settings. With its unstable connections
and its precisely levelled balance they unfold an
autonomously esthetical, emotional and very associative
impression – without any fields of significance.
Bodo Korsig’s pictorial elements with their symmetric
and reflecting elements, sequences and accumulations
remind us strangely and at the same time forebodingly
of natural aesthetic principles, of bio-morphological,
molecular and neuronal structures. But they only
occupy the remindful background and an individual
artistic variety of designs unfold their full potential in
the foreground.
With his creative certainty Bodo Korsig discovered the
easy-to-shape material of clay and uses it as a base to
transform his pictorial codes into three-dimensional
objects. His love for ceramics is based upon the
investigation of the material imminent varieties of
expression. Bodo Korsig tries to find out the sculptural
possibilities and qualities of this material. He analyzes
silently the sculpture itself and its dilemma of always
being caught between the imagination of surface and
space, illusion and reality, archetype, copy and
The clay figurines created by Bodo Korsig are fragile
hollow bodies whose closed volumes pretend to be
fortified units and massive bulks. All his sculptures and
wall art are coloured but under a black skin they cover
up their fragile materiality and vulnerability. They
pretend to be made of metal or to be forged but at the
end they are committed to a soft handling. The thorny
pointed or club-shaped objects examine their proximity
from a free hanging status or safely attached to the
ground, like tentacles, villi or pox. The large-sized
sculptures and multifaceted wall arts display an
unconventional atmospheric presence that affects the
environment and creates a direct physical relationship
to the observer who is taken between fascination,
confidence and distrust and feels attracted, captured,
threatened and exposed to mercy. The artist is
tempted by this game of conflicting feelings and
irritations of the visual experience.
Bodo Korsig’s forms seem to be relicts from a different,
long ago or future world. They resemble reposing
grubs – innocent but knowing the coherence between
perception and sensation. As results from a seeking
process to change and to preserve, to detect unexpected
forms in a supposedly well-known environment
Bodo Korsig’s artwork always gathers moments of
ambiguity derived from a complex spectrum between
aggressiveness and beauty, tangible and essential
elements, disconcertment, identification and admiration.
These sensations find their metaphorical expression
in titles such as Dance with the devil or Talking
with the enemy.