Lost World does not just deal with a dinosaur theme but it also creates a space for contemplation where we can wonder about why would monsters stand on fragile pedestals and why would we erect fragile walls that can crash. Kregar, 2015
In Lost world sculptor Gregor Kregar combines structures made from recycled glass with large stylized bronze dinosaurs. Through this unusual juxtaposition the artist creates an environment to surprise and engage the viewer. Kregar’s interest in dinosaurs was sparked by observing his four year old’s fascination for these creatures. Intrigued by reading him dinosaur books before bed each night and finding plastic replica all over the house, the artist was spurred to create his own setting in which to bring these prehistoric animals to life.
Kregar has always been interested in kitsch and his curiosity with this ‘low’ aesthetic as can be seen in his earlier themes of gnomes, sheep and piggy banks. In Lost world Kregar exemplifies that artistic representations of prehistory are not limited to scientific illustrations.
Popular culture has a fascination with them; from movies, TV, advertising and video games to Museum exhibitions; these half-real prehistoric superstars fascinate us. Dinosaurs are powerful embodiments of themes like evolution, domination and extinction. What makes the dinosaur a particularly rich resource for thought is its hybrid character: the dinosaur is a figure in constant symbolic motion, shuttling between science and fantasy, nature and culture, the image of the other and a mirror of the self.
The dinosaurs that stand in this exhibition are not the huge monsters of Jurassic Park; instead they are smaller, smoother sightless versions. Kregar here utilizes a familiar subject and represents it in a way that displaces the original meaning. Cheap, soft, mass produced blow up toys are hand modeled and cast in bronze, one of the most precious and classical sculpture materials. The artist describes his desire to enlarge these toys as a way to highlight the political economic system behind them: dinosaur toys (and other plastic toys) are often produced in a cycle of transnational capitalist production: designed by companies from Western countries and produced in China, then commercially distributed throughout the world. In this way the dinosaurs hint at ideas of monopoly capitalism. Just like the real dinosaurs ruled the world in prehistoric times, giant corporate entities dominate today’s world.
Kregar’s dinosaurs inhabit the gallery alongside a large wall and upon structures that are all made out of recycled cast glass. Glass is an extremely fragile material and here the union with bronze creates an alluring tension. The ‘cinder block’ form of the glass brick alludes to concrete block construction; utilitarian and practical but here their fragility and attraction creates a new tension. The dinosaurs are constrained by their walled environment, yet it is one that is fragile and could collapse.