knust wameser 1720

Wie es Euch gefällt und was wir sind.

Ludwigstrasse 7
02.06 — 25.06
2021

“A poem is not made of feelings, but of words.” The architect quoted the French poet Stéphane Mallarmé and added, “In the same way, the city can be pure emotion, but it is made with technology”. Paulo Mendes da Rochas in the NZZ by Annette Spiro 26.05.2021
As you like it and who we are
Olaf Holzapfel in conversation with Matthias Kunz
MK: To what extent is the dialogue with artists an assurance for the creative time of the Now in which you and we are living? What is timeless about it, or illuminating for the past or even trail-blazing for the future?
OH: We are speaking with one another about a certain view of the world through images. It is first of all an exchange that begins quite concretely in our surroundings. I like subjective things such as taste and opinion because they say something about personal attitudes. For instance, how do I see faces, what kind of humour shines through with Philipp Kremer, or the perception of leaves and snow with Sarah Loibl, thus the entire material world. On the level of images this includes loud and soft, moods, mode, reality, belief. The image can also fancy something that elsewhere may be already anachronistic. Simultaneously, making images is an open, multidimensional space that can also track back, is not only correct. Hence it distinguishes itself from the many other strategies for appropriating the Now-time. Science, for instance, tends toward the future, is progressive. justice wants something different, etc. In European history art is always a place for curiosity and the integration of what is NEW, of the unseen, which can include also what is false or abnormal.
The dialogue between us is, above all, oriented toward an analogue language like painting and drawing, a multidimensional language founded by a tradition of seeing.
MK: What is then the New or the Political in making images, that is, that has an effect back on society?
OH: It's a matter of individual taste and social ties. That is, you have to assert yourself in the group, and it is also a matter of behaviour, of action oriented toward the community, that is, politics. It is the alien, the strange that you want to understand, for which a form has to be sought in an image, that is disputed, argued about. Our mode is thoroughly confrontational, oriented toward rivalry as it was already with Pietro Aretino, Titian's friend who could also deliver on order lampoons or
Erotic Sonnets against rivals. The public nature of images is already there, whether it be in science or propaganda, and people whom you represent as a gallery, such as Baldessari, Prince or Sieverding, have also taken that up. It's been that way since antiquity and at first not because of the market, as people sometimes think, but because it is an excellent means to reflect upon the world and to influence how we want to be, and don't want to be, of one opinion. Nevertheless here in the images of the exhibition there is something connective, also in its absence, namely, the digital image. Thus some works directly refer to it, as with Lisa Wilkins, while others show the analogue quality of the reproduction of the image, as with Hanna Hennenkemper.
I want here to emphasize the aspect of enlightenment because I believe that in Europe that was precisely the most important innovation in art and probably constitutes our art. A culture of controversy between Rome and Venice or Berlin and Paris over the image of the world, which is also a controversy over images of 'land-scape'. That is not the exclusive domain of the Modern Age as you can see in Annedore Dietze’s paintings or the illustrations for the
Erotic Sonnets by Giulio Romano.
These images can thus be intentionally destructive nonsense and therefore also touch us because they show something that we accept as self-evident until an extraordinary image makes it visible.
MK: When the exhibition title includes the statement, "as you like it", does the liking imply a possibility, a question or even the suggestion that it is arbitrary because, in the second part of the title, the announcement follows: "and who we are"?
OH: It's a matter of how tradition is interwoven with our body and the will for one's own actions. This feeling of 'you are similar to me', intermeshing, being bound, being driven. For this there is art, for fire and the ritual of giving — which we so badly miss in this pandemic. For this reason the exhibition has intentionally been made intimately, with acquaintances and friends. Thus also the idea of Shakespeare's restless theatre which was indeed celebrated in the shared (Globe) theatre, including dinner, as a public space. Whether you can outsource that to online courses such as yoga classes — on this point I am rather sceptical. Physical space — just like eating, the body, singing — relies on our material reality, mood and sense of smell. That is a completely immediate touching that is necessary for life. With the techno movement that arose simultaneously with the digital turn in the mid-1990s that was to make communication in the community even more anonymous through smart phones, the great raves emerged, that is, the enthusiasm for ecstasy with sound and images, precisely with these sound-bites by Nik Nowak and the new textures employed by Franziska Goes.
I feel that we are standing at an incision where the 19th/20th century was more oriented toward presenting tradition as something paralysing, but it turns out that the tradition is the only really universal magnitude that connects us. Pieter Claesz' still lifes are the precursors of Cézanne and the breakfast tables by Wolfgang Tillmans and the food images by Ran Zhang — and indeed, including technology and all the intellectual speculations. The European tradition includes also the speculative recognition of the alien and strange, one of the infinite possibilities of the diverse material world. What it examines and adapts, perhaps improves, and even also attempts with proclamation, can fail. For this reason I edited with you this book
Nakano Sakaue - Verhandelte Zeichen (Negotiated Signs) in 2008 about Japan, even though I don’t know Japanese. Thus a thesis, that of the Negotiated Signs — something can be said after all via the use of images, in this case signs for the blind, about other cultures and hence also about ourselves. We recognize ourselves in the difference from one another not only in thinking, but especially in making. In this case it means installing signs for the blind in public space.
Personal doubt is always there and it is not the invention of an avant-garde.
The mechanical media have in fact developed into something like overarching systematic apparatuses, whereby for us as individuals it is completely unclear who is doing the programming. And — also to make them all the more illusionist — they are very abstract. By contrast, the relationship between artists, collection and gallery can be comprehended concretely.
MK: Picasso thought he could explain the human being through the human being. Or that that could soon be expected. "Why do you think I date everything I make? Because it’s not enough to know an artist’s works. One must also know when he made them, why, how, under what circumstances. No doubt there will someday be a science, called 'the science of man', perhaps, which will seek above all to get a deeper understanding of man via man - the creator." In short, one day there would be a human science that could understand the creative human being, that is, the artist, better and more deeply. Does that apply also to your work as a curator in the sense of care, discussion and promotion?
OH: Yes, he was very much committed to humanism of the Latin kind. That is also the criticism that he represents a Eurocentric, monotheistic way of seeing. For me it is not the same. I grew up in a land shaped by humanism, but the vertical, ritual and religion scarcely played any role. That was the origin of the revolt in 1989 and therefore I have a yearning for that time. The band Silly sang on their LP
Bataillon d'Amour that they would love to flee to warmer countries. I always heard instead, ‘into the old countries’ such as Italy and France. They were associated with the contradictoriness of humanism of the Latin kind. The Latin — living the vertical, the horizontal simultaneously stand here for dialectic + freedom in reality. For this reason, images are such an important spiritual commodity. Repressive systems and dictatorships are united by their fear of artists and individual speculation. There a direction is demanded, that is, the linear image and not the multidimensional one. A.R. Penck, whom you have often shown in the gallery, was quite intentionally not recognized as an artist in socialism. That holds true also for Stalin's paranoia about Daniil Charms or the deportation of Biermann. It is a message to creative persons not to get involved in politics. A cult releases feelings and rouses old memories necessary for living, bucolic, oriented toward community. Spontaneous connections that reach much deeper than simple causality. The creative element you address is full of unplanned mistakes as in the lovely jackets by Malene List Thomsen. We are the space of these mistakes through which we recognize each other. To make a potlatch, offer ourselves something in order to give it away, that is rave. When Pablo Picasso says that he is a creator, then he is asserting that he can create a world, and he can do this as long as we are integrated in his doing so and recognize him in his limitedness as a creatively shaping other. Therefore: who we are. It is also ecological. You really don't need many assisting systems to do it, only gifts and dance. Our brain has the capacity to do it when we do not employ it only functionally. That is really our most important opportunity, that we recognize that we are individuals associated in space, risking and showing ourselves in it. Then we can downgrade superbly to something as simple as a painting and get by with much less.
MK: What do you mean to say — creating as an ecological act?
OH: When we work on a symbolic redistribution, an ink drawing can become the centre of our efforts and the world will therefore use less resources.

Works

  • Franziska Goes

    Tag/Nachtbild, 2020
    Acrylic on cotton
    180 x 170 cm

    Contact Gallery
  • Malene List Thomsen

    Untitled, 2018
    Colored pencil on paper
    44 x 34 cm

    Contact Gallery
  • Malene List Thomsen

    Untitled, 2018
    Colored pencil on paper
    44 x 34 cm

    Contact Gallery
  • Sarah Loibl

    Stapel 3, 2019
    Three aluminum frames, pigment and dispersion on gaze
    310 x 200 cm

    Contact Gallery
  • Ran Zhang

    Resolution of Traits 1, 2019
    Acrylic, watercolor, ink and pigment on inkjet print
    120 x 90 cm

    Contact Gallery
  • Ran Zhang

    Resolution of Traits 2, 2019
    Acrylic, watercolor, ink and pigment on inkjet print
    160 x 90 cm

    Contact Gallery
  • Ran Zhang

    Chiral (2), 2017/18
    Punched holes on inkjet print of 100 times magnified miniature food setting
    120 x 91 cm

    Contact Gallery
  • Ran Zhang

    Chiral (4), 2020
    Punched holes on inkjet print of 100 times magnified miniature food setting
    120 x 91 cm

    Contact Gallery
  • Ran Zhang

    Chiral (5), 2020
    Punched holes on inkjet print of 100 times magnified miniature food setting
    120 x 91 cm

    Contact Gallery
  • Nik Nowak

    o.T., 2020
    Collage
    218 x 190 x 6,5 cm

    Contact Gallery
  • Nik Nowak

    Model for a Monument, 2018
    Concrete and steel
    145 cm x 154 cm x 30 cm

    Contact Gallery
  • Philipp Kremer

    Couple (II - VII), 2019
    Oil on canvas
    200 x 280 cm

    Contact Gallery
  • Philipp Kremer

    Gathering (XX), 2020
    Oil on canvas
    200 x 280 cm

    Contact Gallery
  • Lisa Wilkens

    Mehr Erneuerung, 2018
    Copper filament on paper, 3D printed, frame made of padouk wood
    32 x 23 cm

    Contact Gallery
  • Lisa Wilkens

    Mehr Erneuerung, 2018
    Copper filament on paper, 3D printed, frame made of padouk wood
    32 x 23 cm

    Contact Gallery
  • Lisa Wilkens

    The River Flowed Down The Waterfall Without Bringing Any Profit, 2018
    Chinese ink on paper
    86 x 62 cm

    Contact Gallery
  • Hanna Hennenkemper

    timecode II, 2019
    Lithography from 1 stone
    c. 60 x 50 cm

    Contact Gallery
  • Hanna Hennenkemper

    timecode III, 2019
    Lithography from 1 stone
    c. 60 x 50 cm

    Contact Gallery
  • Philipp Kremer

    Certain Place (XV), 2013
    Acrylic on paper
    42 x 59,4 cm

    Contact Gallery
  • Philipp Kremer

    Certain Place (XIII), 2013
    Acrylic on paper
    42 x 59,4 cm

    Contact Gallery
  • Philipp Kremer

    Certain Place (XVI), 2013
    Acrylic on paper
    42 x 59,4 cm

    Contact Gallery
  • Philipp Kremer

    Certain Place (XIV), 2013
    Acrylic on paper
    42 x 59,4 cm

    Contact Gallery
  • Malene List Thomsen

    Untitled, 2018
    Latex, ink, plants
    87 x 100 x 2 cm

    Contact Gallery
  • Annedore Dietze

    Just Arrived, 2020
    Oil on canvas
    200 x 150 cm

    Contact Gallery
  • Olaf Holzapfel

    Doppel perspektiv Spirale, 2015
    Straw on wood
    68 x 68 cm

    Contact Gallery
  • Nik Nowak

    No Silence for the Great Leader, 2018
    HD Video (1920 x 1080px)
    25 min 26 sec
    Edition: of 3

    Contact Gallery
  • Hanna Hennenkemper

    Bleiguss Nr. 1/ dritte Ansicht aus der Serie "DAS ZEICHEN ZEICHNEN - ANSICHTEN EINES BLEIGUSSES", 2021
    Bleistift auf Papier
    29,7 x 42

    Contact Gallery
  • Hanna Hennenkemper

    Bleiguss Nr. 1/ erste Ansicht aus der Serie "DAS ZEICHEN ZEICHNEN - ANSICHTEN EINES BLEIGUSSES", 2021
    Pencil on paper
    29,7 x 42 cm

    Contact Gallery
  • Annedore Dietze

    Cute Rabbits, 2017
    Oil on canvas
    180 x 150 cm

    Contact Gallery
  • Franziska Goes

    Gefühl für Poesie/Purpurblau, 2020/21
    Acrylic on cotton
    180 x 170 cm

    Contact Gallery
  • Malene List Thomsen

    Untitled, 2018
    Colored pencil on paper
    39 x 28,5 cm

    Contact Gallery
  • Wie es Euch gefällt und was wir sind., Installation view, 2021

    Contact Gallery
  • Wie es Euch gefällt und was wir sind., Installation view, 2021

    Contact Gallery
  • Wie es Euch gefällt und was wir sind., Installation view, 2021

    Contact Gallery
  • Wie es Euch gefällt und was wir sind., Installation view, 2021

    Contact Gallery