Jakob Rava (b. 1988, Germany) studied at Berlin’s Universität der Künste and The Glasgow School of Art before persuing the MA Sculpture at the Royal College of Art. Previously, he trained as a carpenter and cabinet maker with Berlin’s Staatsoper.
2020 vertical horizontal, Smithfield Café, London (solo)
2019 Marketing Suite, Assembly Point, London
2019 TWO4ONE, (in collaboration with Eilis Searson), Cypher Billboard, London
2018 ISOLA (part III), forgo, Berlin (solo)
2018 UEC, Ku’damm Karree, Berlin
2018 ISOLA, UdK, Berlin
2016 AGKF, Kulturforum, Berlin
2015 AQUA CON CRETE, SEZ, Berlin
Grants / Residencies / Awards
Gilbert Bayes Bursary Award (Royal Society of Sculptors)
Scholarship of the German Academic Scholarship Foundation (since 2016)
Residency at the Scottish Sculpture Workshops, Lumsden, Scotland
Jakob Rava’s latest body of work, Lures –a group of lead-cast and found sculptures made on the occasion of the RCA’s virtual degree show– seeks to explore the interrelationship of objects and images.
Brought into view by scrolling and enlarged with the pinch of a screen, the suddenly more life-sized elements recall fishing tackle the artist used as a child by the Baltic Sea in Germany. Rava paints his objects with nail varnish, ornaments them with feathers, wires and ribbon, and loosely strings them together on a commercially produced, long and narrow ‘clip strip,’ which he then photographs. The resulting vertical landscape –formed by a series of eight images– appears both flat and dynamic, a line dropped down to an unknown depth. Its objects seem as loved as they do discarded.
As he has done previously, Rava employs a wide range of original and reclaimed materials (here, with a quiet emphasis on patterns of human consumption) in order to engage with notions of fragmentation and transformation. Installed together on a transparent plastic strip but visible one at a time as viewers move through images in order to see the work, his objects and their presentation gesture towards an algorithmically, ever-specified scope of individual experience that is equally lived and artificial.
Mediated by a screen, the sculptures’ weight and state of completion remain elusive, a quality Rava extends by exhibiting this work only online. In three dimensions, perhaps in a later version of 2020, Rava plans to melt down the depicted component parts in the search for new forms.
text by Isabel Parkes