MAstars 2013: Cadi Froehlich, MA Fine Art
Cadi Froehlich, Contain, 2013. Salvaged copper, salvaged cable, recycled felt, electrical tape.
Jeni Walwin selects Cadi Froehlich from Chelsea College of Art & Design for MAstars
Spaces allocated to graduating artists for their degree shows can be tricky and do not necessarily offer the best backdrop for the work. Cadi Froehlich’s space is no exception – adjacent to a large window are two temporary walls spanning either side of a walk-through. It is Froehlich’s canny use of just three materials that holds the installation in place and creates a strong visual impact.
Electrical cabling, carpet underlay and recycled copper are deftly put to use in a variety of carefully crafted sculptural forms. Some of the objects use all three of these most prosaic of materials, and as they collide with each other in the precision of their handling a new, seductive quality emerges. A brightly polished A4 sheet of copper jauntily leans against the draped underlay as it skims down the wall, across the floor and ends in a neat little roll. The gleam of the copper draws the viewer into the work and suddenly the flecks and twists of the textured underlay take on a painterly presence.
Cadi Froehlich, Fill, 2013. Salvaged copepr, recycled felt.
Across the walk-through a collection of long cables piled neatly, ends abutting, curve gracefully along the floor and draw a visual link across the space. Suspended above is a line of grey cable, tightly wrapped with underlay and tied with brightly coloured cable. On the windowsill a strip of underlay is strapped around a thin circle of copper, and cocooned within its curve is a bundle of grey cables, each cut to the exact width of the roundel.
The human touch is a key factor in this work. One narrow strip of underlay is tightly bound into a roll by a thin layer of copper and on its surface is the imprint of a hand – perhaps the one first used to fit the boiler in the metal’s earlier life. On a shelf nearby are three copper casts of smart phones, inviting more hands to place their imprints – marks and traces of mundane human activity.
All these materials are essential elements in everyday life, and yet they remain mostly hidden from our view. Froehlich’s installation reminds us that our hi-tech world is underpinned by a network of vital cables, vessels and padding – materials that need to be cut, moulded, pressed, and hammered into place by the hands of a skilled worker. Activity that is forever invisible, yet always necessary.
Selected by Jeni Walwin
Published October, 2013
About Jeni Walwin
Jeni Walwin is an independent curator, writer and art consultant. Her current projects include a programme of artists’ film installations for the 2013 WOMAD festival; a commission with Tania Kovats for Wiltshire Council’s remodelled County Hall, and a project with Henna Nadeem for a new housing scheme in Tower Hamlets. Between 2001 and 2011 she was Project Director for the public art programme, Artists in the City where she worked with a local authority, private developers and architects to create opportunities for artists to make new work for a variety of city centre contexts. In 2009/10 she worked with Graham Devlin to produce the contemporary art strategy for British Waterways. For many years she has worked as an associate curator with the Contemporary Art Society and in particular as selector of their annual selling show, ARTfutures. With the artist Henry Krokatsis, she curated You’ll Never Know: Drawing and Random Interference for the Hayward Gallery National Touring Programme. She has written extensively on live art and performance. In 2010 she edited Searching for Art’s New Publics for Intellect Books and she has contributed essays to art journals and catalogues. She is the Chair of the Advisory Board of the Drawing Room.