The Bottle, 2018

Photo: Roman März
Photo: Roman März
Photo: Roman März
Photo: Roman März

Bronze, burnt spruce plinth
50 x 23 x 22 cm (sculpture)
600 x 50 x 50 cm (plinth)
The Bottle deals with concerns of material value, human waste, and disposability. While Comte’s use of bronze represents her sustained interest in the history of materials and their use in sculptural traditions in her practice at large, its deployment in this work actively critiques the overuse and assumed expendability of plastic in contemporary society, and its growing application since the 1960s. As Gabriella Beckhurst writes, “Comte’s casting of plastic detritus – a material which takes approximately 450 years to decompose – probes the value systems and temporal registers we ascribe to materials. The notion that plastic and other supposedly ‘disposable’ materials disappear from sight is challenged… a reminder that plastics and polymers are now found in the most remote of places.”[1] Featured in Comte’s 2018 exhibition at König Gallery in Berlin, When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth, the work represents a designated focus in the artist’s practice on scientific proofs regarding the impact of human activity on the climate through filmed and sculptural investigations of both prehistoric and present landscapes, crafts, and technologies. The artist’s own stated belief in the role of art in provoking thought and its potential as a tool for education is therefore demonstrated through her own active engagement with these issues. The Bottle in all of its literality, along with similar works including The Can (2018), might be viewed as a break from the usual contrast between the perfected finish of her work and the less than perfect realities of her concerns. –Elsa Gray


Group exhibition: Abundant Futures
Venue: C3A Centro de Creación Contemporánea de Andalucía, Córdoba  
Curator: Daniela Zyman
April 1, 2022 - March 5, 2023

[1] Quoted from the press release for When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth at König Gallery, Berlin. Available at
Claudia Comte,  was born  1983 in Switzerland. Her work is defined by her interest on the memory of materials and by a careful observation of how the hand relates to  different technologies.