Crash Test at Seth’s Arc


Michael Kutschbach taught at Adelaide Central School of Art for five years and then went on to study at Chelsea School of Art and Design in London with a Samstag Scholarship. He is now resident in Berlin. He last showed in Adelaide at Greenaway Art Gallery in 2005. The work he is currently showing is almost exclusively black and silver, and is concerned with what look like diagrams from some kind of manual. I kept thinking of keyhole surgery, toy car tracks, Alladin’s lamp and machines for oiling cars while the stick-on labels which cover the mezzanine walls resemble male and female body parts from 60’s record covers. This exhibition includes three small and one large felt mobius strips which can be shifted by visitors to the gallery into different configurations. Playfulness is a strong element of Kutschbach’s pieces.

His finely honed work has developed and matured over the years though he maintains an obsession with surface and gloss. From exploration of a randon flat blob shape to animated blob shapes, from objects to vinyl stick-ons, from paintings to computer generated images, what he makes is always emotionally cool and as apparently random as ice-cream. This refusal to be particularly intelligible can mean the works are blank slates for the viewer to fill in with desires like a doll or that they seem to be merely decoration, gymnastics for the eyes. Yet the large piece of work that crawls up the corner of the gallery becomes more like architecture and thus touches down on some notions of history and culture.


Radok, Stephanie. Crash test at seth’s arc.  The Adelaide Review, p.15 27/4/07 (abridged text)