VOLKANO'S SYMBOLIC TRANSFORMATIONS
A detailed and precise article about Volkano's work by Helena Sokol for Copenhagen based Blacklisted magazine
BETWEEN INNOCENCE AND IMPURITY
The transition from childhood to adulthood is an inevitable fact of life.
Even so, the German artist Volkano depicts this transformational loss of innocence in an honest and rough way that is rarely seen. Get immersed in the land between child and adult, soft and coarse, innocence and impurity.
By creating an artistic universe of rituals, for example in the form of children wearing dead birds or being blindfolded with raw meat, Volkano captures the universal and timeless complexity of becoming an adult. His artistic universe reveals the loss of softness as a direct consequence of the entrance into adulthood. Holding on to the mind of a child is a losing battle that nonetheless causes a longing for the past.
The transformation from child to adult is double-sided. Not only is it a physical one, leaving new visible traces on your body, it also brings along a spiritual change that keeps adding new layers to the narrative. New stories come to life in the rise of a new outlook on life – one of an adult.
artist in focus | volkano
In reality, art has nothing to do with the number of working hours or strong technical skills;
this can be part of it but is not a requirement.
Nevertheless, the fact is that if you choose a road where your narrative is
promoted by a razor-sharp universe, and where inadequate skills would pull you down,
then it is imperative that your art is spot on – and this is the case with Volkano’s art.
For me the most central feature in Volkano’s art is his ability of depicting the loss of
childhood innocence and the development from child to adult.
Technical skill is of secondary importance although Volkano is extremely talented technically.
In many ways growing up consists of events which each undermine your
childhood innocence. You can hardly call yourself an adult before your childhood innocence
has changed into something else. This theme is universal, timeless and geographically untied,
and for me it is obvious to relate to this through art.
In Volkano's world meat, bones and dead animals typically represent the coarseness
and life-style of adult life. In the span between these symbols and the innocent characters
the stories and their content arise.
Volkano’s travel has been a rocket journey reaching for the top, and it has been a pleasure
being his curator from the very beginning.
Rasmus Ejaas Fischer
Curator, Galerie Wolfsen
VOLKANO: THE LOSS OF INNOCENCE
The transition from childhood to becoming an adult is perceived by Volkano under the form of ritual. He depicts children characters wearing dead birds as an undesired adornment or as overwhelming burden, covering their mouth or with raw meat blinding them.
The closed eyes, the empty gaze and unsettling gestures reveal a deep sadness, shame and sorrow,
a sense of guilt and regret, longing for something they acknowledge as irretrievable.
According to Galerie Wolfsen curator Rasmus Ejaas Fischer: “In many ways growing up consists of events which each undermine your childhood innocence. You can hardly call yourself an adult before your childhood innocence has changed into something else.”
Once the ritual begins, and it is universal, without escape, there is no stopping the transformation, and the experience is haunting, with visible traces of not only physical, but spiritual change.
In some cases, the process finds its subjects unprepared and forces them to grow, with the recurrent belt motif as element of constraint.
It is strange how evolution is rather intrusive and a path apparently leading to decay. And it is life with all its challenges and society with its expectations and standards that accelerate this inner rupture from what we once were, distancing ourselves from an essence we mostly understand in the early stages.
The Re:Art Project