Forty Eight is both the name of the installation and the number of cushions that make up the work.

Forty Eight from Nils Völker on Vimeo.

There’s nothing cryptic about its name; 48 interconnected modules comprise Nils Völker’s latest installation, Forty-Eight.

Currently on display at the Lost in Lace exhibition at the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, Forty-Eight is a 4-by-3m wall made from white cushions that inflate and deflate almost silently. Only the subtle sound of fans behind the cushions gives any hint of what drives the pulsing mass.

During recent months, Völker has experimented with inflation and deflation in various settings using different materials. ‘Every time I create a new installation based on these techniques, it’s a development of the previous work,’ Völker says. ‘But the exhibition rooms and installation settings have a major influence on each piece.’

Visitors are meant to draw their own conclusions from Forty-Eight – and from Völker’s work in general. ‘I prefer to give the beholders a starting point from which they can develop their own interpretations rather than telling them what they should see,’ he says. ‘I like it when people are initially fascinated by the techniques and materials I use but, ideally, they should stop thinking and just enjoy the experience.’

Lost in Lace is on show at the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery until 19 February, 2012.

Billboard Material Experience
Billboard Material Experience

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