Alwin Lay’s installations are almost always a matter of a kind of 'dis-illusionment'. Many of his works violate the laws of logic and physics. Blauer Würfel (Blue Cube) and Strohhalm Rot-Weiß (Straw Red-White) are perfect examples of this. In these works, the simple processes which unfold onscreen contradict the laws of physics, while nonetheless striking the viewer as perfectly consistent.
In Blauer Würfel (Blue Cube), the viewer watches as blue washing-up liquid pours out of the spout of an upside down plastic bottle, gradually spreading over a white plinth. The liquid doesn’t flow downward over the edges of the plinth – instead, it pools together in the form of a square, and gradually begins to build upwards. The glowing blue liquid, which by the end of the work has taken on the form of a cube, conveys a sense of harmony and genuine coherence.
Similarly, in Strohhalm Rot-Weiß (Straw Red-White), the law of gravity seems to have been suspended, as a liquid streams out the top of a drinking straw in an empty glass. The liquid forms a constantly growing puddle around the glass.
Lay plays with the viewer’s expectations by creating scenarios based in his own reality with its own rules, allowing a unique perspective on things. He works with everyday objects, heightening the strangeness of the surprising phenomena which dispel our preconceptions, and challenge us to see things differently. The static camera shots give the viewer plenty of time to observe the events on screen, allowing us to gradually make sense of them, and to be 'dis-illusioned' in regard to our expectations. (Anne Greb)