My interdisciplinary work, which includes sculpture, photography, installation, drawing, and sound, presents a critique of corporate bureaucracy. The objects and materials incorporated, such as office plants, furniture or carpeting, are typically found within the setting of the office space. In their institutional habitat, their sole purpose is to organize human activity, to maximize efficiency, maintain order and thus aid in the imposition of a hierarchical system of control.
What happens though, if said objects refuse to conform to their standard mode of operation? In my photographs and installations, objects are stripped of their original function and activated through interventions, such as shifts in scale, material transformations, and re-contextualization. Installed in space, they mimic the clean, cold, minimalist language of corporate display. In their subtle gestures of non-conformity however, they deviate from business as usual and enter the gray area between defiance and failure, transgression and pathos. Instead of promoting an efficient work-flow, their disruptiveness destabilises any belief in the authority and inevitability of an otherwise unyielding, and oppressive bureaucratic system.
My most recent work further explores the parallels between bureaucracy and fascism via the appropriation and juxtaposition of images from archives of office furniture, fascist architecture and fashion, and the history of Nazi Germany. Shared formal characteristics between juxtaposed sets of images are emphasised, in order to allude to detached efficiency, rational compartmentalisation, rigid rules, and a formal hierarchical structure, while their origin, and meaning is purposefully obscured. As a result of the juxtaposition of images and text from a variety of different sources, fluid associations between disparate narratives are created, while others are cast into doubt. This, in turn, generates a situation of ontological instability and uncertainty that aims to ask questions about the existence of an absolute truth.
BioSandra Erbacher is a German artist living and working in New Jersey and New York. She has degrees in Sociology and Cultural Studies from Goldsmiths College, London, and earned her BFA from Camberwell College of Art, London (2009) and her MFA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison (2014). She has exhibited nationally and internationally, at Spring/Break, NYC, Grin Providence, the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center, the Chazen Museum of Art, Madison, Mana Contemporary Chicago, Circuit 12 Contemporary, Dallas, The Contemporary, London, Kunstverein Speyer, Germany, Umbrella Gallery, Leeds, and Five Years, London. She participated in the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council's Workspace residency in 2017-18.
Her work is included in the Fidelity Investments Corporate Art Collection and numerous other private collections.