In October I started an online Residency at VIRTUAL SPAR, St. Petersburg Art Residency. I’m currently writing a series of essays about my work during 2020.
We can never tell anybody about how we really experience things. There is always a gap in between the words we use and how they are read by our vis a vis.
Words transport associations and memories, they are always translated and filtered individually. Artists use images, to articulate the specific space in between the words and the experience. The following drawings are accompanied by texts.
Image and text open up a space that grows in between the things you see and the things you read. The texts are corresponsive to the image and still contain their own spaces and connotations. While translating the written images into English, I thought a lot about translation processes and about the possible spaces that might open up for people from all over the world reading the texts. I thought a lot about how a written image might change its meaning depending on how it is read in different places, with different language and different culture. And if there is something like a core feeling which yet might be transported despite the translation processes. The relevance of articulation, translation and the invention of ways of showing and sharing both our work and our world as artists has become an important challenge during hardcore lockdown times and the enduring pandemic times. How can we develop ways of transporting the genuine feeling of art and art experience? How can we fulfill our destination as artists?
We need to talk about things that are important for us both as human beings and as artists and to make our artist worlds visible. That’s why this post is about the project which I started during hardcore lockdown times in April 2020. Each object, each thing, each thought becomes strange and questionable if you stare at it for a long time. And it seems to contain your own existence in a condensed way.
Facing pandemic times means facing yourself. Reflecting yourself, as an artist, as a human being, cocooned inside a clear, sterile and laboratory situation. A clear and precise view on things without depression. Things become whimsical. You begin to build constellations, stories and worlds out of almost nothing. The drawings and texts of the work “Mikroklima” are focused on this experience, without illustrating corona sceneries.
The genre of the still life is the genre of lonesomeness. The drawings show whimsical still life scenes without any human beings, forming a microcosmic narrative by connecting images and aphoristic texts with a fragmented, poetic, laconic and ironic atmosphere. To me writing poetry is quite similar to making an installation:
A poem is like a spatial setting. The space is defined through the relationship between things/images and words. The reader/the beholder individually fills the missing links within the process of reading/dialogue.
I made this work in April – I was supposed to be at an artist in residency place “Kunstarkaden Kempten” for one month. As could not go there in April I made a drawing and a text each day and sent them to the curatorial team there who installed them in the showcase of the studio space as a growing installation visible for the people passing by. I went for the residency two months later in June. I showed the drawings in real life, made a small DIY edition of the work.