Michael Sailstorfer / Germany b.1979 / Wolken (Clouds) 2010 / Tyre inner tubes / Installed dimensions variable / Purchased 2011 with funds from Tim Fairfax AM through the Queensland Art Gallery Foundation / Collection: Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art / © Michael Sailstorfer/Bild-Kunst. Licensed by Copyright Agency 2014

Michael Sailstorfer
Wolken (Clouds) 2010

Not Currently on Display

Michael Sailstorfer’s Wolken (Clouds) 2010 is a very large installation of black tyre tubes (the size normally used for trucks).

The tubes hang from the ceiling to make us think of storm clouds. Tyres are usually found spinning on the ground on bicycles, cars, trucks and buses, but in this artwork it is surprising to see them hanging from the ceiling, where they hang above us.

Michael Sailstorfer was born Vilsbiburg. Between 1999 and 2003, he studied at Munich’s Akademie der Bildenden Künste under the sculptors Nikolaus Gerhart and Olaf Metzal. In 2003, he relocated to London where he studied at Goldsmiths College until 2004. He is currently based in Berlin.

Since his first exhibitions in the early 2000s, Sailstorfer has developed a distinctive approach to sculpture drawing on Minimalism, Fluxus, Land art and the readymade. Although his practice engages in serious investigations of artistic problems, his work also reveals a playful appreciation of the material world.

Discussion Questions

1. Do you think the title suits the artwork?

2. How does the choice, colour and size of the materials, as well as the way they have been installed, influence your experience of the work?

Classroom Activities

1. Imagine developing an artwork — on a grand scale — from any materials you choose. Think of a concept and draw your installation, as well as describe the materials, justifying your choices. As a class, create a scale model of an exhibition of featuring your installations alongside your concept drawings.

2. In groups, construct a large-scale installation from ordinary objects, such as ice-cream containers or cardboard boxes. Experiment with changing the form of the objects in order to contradict their original, intended use.