Waterdrop on hot stonetakes its title from a poem written by Bertold Brecht in 1931 Ballade vom Tropfen auf den Heißen Stein. As this sculpture’s title, it initially sounds like a poetic mediation on the impact of materials upon one another yet it also relates specifically to the dystopian reality of Brecht’s text. The waterdrop represents actions taken to resolve a problem, while the hot stone represents the magnitude of the problem. Thoughts and questions emanating from this idea are folded into Michael Stumpf’s work for Practicing Landscape: Land, Histories and Transformation. Rather than being immobilized by the notion of the hot stone, this sculpture explores how material collaborations can contribute to contemporary poetic thought about our relationship to landscape. Examples of successful collaborations taking part in the natural world (such as the combining of fungi and algae to form lichen) invite us to speculate on human and material interaction.
TOP IMAGE: Michael Stumpf ‘Water drop on hot stone’, 2019, (detail). Photo: Jack McCombe