Sarah Pichlkostner – Fill O, David Dale Gallery, Glasgow


David Dale Gallery

Opening: Saturday 6 August
6 August – 20 August 2022
Thu – Sat 2 – 6 PM


It started with a hole in a stone, worked in by the sea water over time. A material associated with hardness, stability, steadiness, is persistently eroded by something soft and flexible. This process isn’t visible, but can be recognised by the presence of the hole (or by the signifier O) as its current state.

Note: Historically, water and its still surface also served us as the first mirror. As a material water also stands for self-reflection.

I am wondering if it’s a matter of locating, finding the stone with the hole on the beach amongst all the other stones.

When I think about where I am – where we are standing – I find myself displaying optimism. This is probably some sort of survival strategy. Does this optimism really have something to do with the persistent belief that everything will be fine or is it a way of seeking shelter in nostalgia? (Not sure if nostalgia is the right word.)

On one end of space there’s a video projection of a sunset which turns into a sunrise and then loops. You can still see the horizon and the sea.

I’m always fascinated by the element of water. As it reflects (a pollution of the sea and the surface) a mirror image of us.

How does the ‘nostalgic’ image of a looped sunset reflect (on) us? Does it describe current affairs? Somehow it always looks like a commercial, but it’s also connected to personal experiences….  

An aluminium sculpture sits in front of the projection. It looks like a rib cage with a peach-colored glass object at its centre (this has the shape of a stone with a hole in it). Its surface is reflecting the environment.

To the right, a video is projected onto the floor. The shape of a heart in the water. It might no longer be there after the next wave coming in. An aluminium structure is placed on top of the projected surface, being flooded by the waves.

There’s a fountain at the entrance/exit of the exhibition. A structure that seems to be drowning, but it still stands.

Note: viewing and recognition form the basis of understanding, and can therefore be the breeding ground for change. The process as a metaphor, stands as signifier O (for Our Times) and is asking me/us what must happen to change conditions, to loosen rigid structures.

In order to fill the void, absence must first be recognised. 

(Feel a Hole with an Eye instead of an I)


Sarah Pichlkostner (1988, Austria) creates sculptures and environments through which she investigates the representation of invisible processes: the transmission of energy, the passage of time, and our psychological responses to materials and things. Or as she puts it: when material is brought to an object, i.e. is made into one, and the function of this object is continuously developing over time, then the object is ultimately reflecting us.

Her solo exhibition at David Dale Gallery is the second part of an organisational exchange with P/////AKT (Amsterdam), with whom she realised the solo exhibition If the moon was a cookie in 2018., David Dale Gallery’s project at P//////AKT (I didn’t think it would turn out this way) took place in November-December of 2021.