Galleri Bo Bjerggaard, 2012
19 x 19cm, Broschure
48 Seiten, ca. 50 Abbildungen
mit Beiträgen von Matthias Harder, Gedichte: Cecilie Loveid, Rosa Pock, Aveek Sen
Light and Heavy
Clouds are amorphous, mythical entity with a long tradition in art history, illustration, not only as a landing place for angels, and fly without motor assistance and remains a great dream of humanity, which cost many lives since Icarus. Meanwhile, an extreme athletes from 30 km altitude and has jumped this unscathed, and at lower altitudes, the Tandem jumping has become a mass phenomenon. Nearly a century after Lindbergh‘s Atlantic crossing will soon offer to an American billionaire scheduled flights into space. There were so many stories about flying and flying to tell – from Leonardo‘s ingenious inventions aircraft over the beautiful ugly Zeppelin until the A380 or the contemporary airport architecture. But clouds will be the theme here first: they have different structures as three-dimensional view pages, they are Wetterbote cause it to rain, and it partially obscuring the sun. Her wealth of forms and their storage capacity is almost limitless, their materiality is concrete and virtually the same time. It is not surprising that at the moment a gigantic data transfer, namely the outsourcing of all our computers and image data in a virtual space occurs, which can be best thought of as a „cloud“.
To these basic reduced subjects – namely, the nature and control, specifically for clouds to fly the man to whose fears the loss of the earth and everything that we associate with it – turns Eva Schlegel‘s photographic work. It is only a fraction of their artistic work and is flanked by sculptures, installations, films, drawings and architectural art in-building interventions. The plethora of techniques, methods and ideas, all in form and content at a high level, is almost unique. In the murals, or projections, including here in Copenhagen, we repeatedly encounter various situations and flying clouds, seemingly converging to the ground man, taken from the soffit. Hovering the supposed lightness or weightlessness are thwarted by the Austrian artist by the material of the image carrier: lead, a slightly malleable metal with relatively high weight, which was already in early human history, purpose – and brought some to death, because an extensive Contact leads insidiously to severe poisoning. At the same time the metal has the ability to save energy and protect against radioactive radiation. This dualism of negative and positive qualities, and the myth of the alchemy of lead to gold could make the material into a mythical signifier. And so will lead and not only in the home and in the printing press, used in architecture or in the military, but also in art. Besides Eva Schlegel, Joseph Beuys, Richard Serra and Anselm Kiefer, the material used in her sculptures and installations. Sometimes this material comes with all its connotations to the main vehicle of expression: So robs about the memory of Serra‘s monumental spaces lead to the Hamburg Kunsthalle, or Schlegel‘s extremely heavy, basic lead work in the Vienna Secession still breathing. In Schlegel‘s photographic work on the other hand lead acts as a carrier for an additional visual statement. The photographic image of a cloud or a covered person is screen printed on the transfer of lead – and in parallel as photogravure, so with the help of an old printing method, in long runs on paper, particularly those clouds, which seem to us like UFOs. The immense richness of contrast from the brightest white to the deepest black and gray, we find with some clouds in the nature, levels of lead in the picture, however, will remain in photogravure.
The study of photography began during Eva Schlegel‘s studies in the 1980s, when Oswald Oberhuber at Vienna, and also their first films are made there, at the College of Applied Arts. The experiments with fans (now there are rotors) also started at that time, with her thesis. Eva Schlegel does not care so much since then for the specific variations in the imaging field of photography, but for the basic design possibilities of the medium. Photography is used from the start of their experiments. Meanwhile, it is suitable to foreign pictures; main source is the Internet, which she uses in his own words as a library. It selects certain landscapes or clouds photographed constellations and again from those motives with their own cameras, which they mostly focused on the reproduction of a detail and modifies the focus range. But there are also his own photographs of clouds, which they used for the lead image, resulting in several steps.
Each of us was the view from the airplane window most fascinated or even overwhelmed by high towering clouds almost majestic in their forms. They appear to float weightless, despite its physical mass, floating in the wind, are changing very quickly or very slowly – and are as individual as a person, an animal or a tree. In art history, many painters and artists have tried to this design, only a few have succeeded in a compelling, atmospheric, vivid display. In the pioneering days of photography with long exposure times, and its low contrast range of the sharpened image of clouds was virtually impossible. In the views were clouds to the 20th Century, copied by a second negative.
Dark clouds are however still used today as a symbol of coming disaster, such as in magazine journalism, and time again over the Athenian Acropolis. But clouds will remain the exclusive representation of a very marginal issue in the contemporary landscape photography – despite our knowledge of its sublime effect from a bird‘s eye view. If we are not meteorologists, we recognize in the cumulus and cirrus clouds and the other cotton-like clusters for which we have no words, no more clues to the impending weather. Most of us, whether romantic or pragmatic associate with clouds rather like fairy tale „Mother Holle“, films like „Wings of Desire“ and generally religious – or just emerging precipitation.
The compact density and feel of the clouds is at least supposed to be an illusion when the aircraft wing or propeller cut them almost unnoticed. And this brings us to another important element image of Eva Schlegel rotors with her for the film projection image carrier, which paraphrases the idea of flying and will be doubled. The idea of fibrillation, known from early film experiments is, one here in my mind. The blades, which we know from propeller aircraft or fans turn so fast that the human eye the illusory effect is a disc which can also be used as a projection – a game with motion and stillness. Historically, art, thinking ahead Eva Schlegel, Marcel Duchamp‘s experiments with reliefs rotor or rotors Heinz Mack‘s light – and eventually turn something that is uniquely shaped. For the pictures, films and texts, which they projected onto the rotors, not a pure light and color pattern as in the previous fellow artists, but suspended both men and women, taken in a physical experiment in Zurich, still weather balloons, which are shot occasionally, or texts with their experiences of astronauts in space. The state of the floating and falling, as we read here, and can well understand, beautiful and threatening at the same time. Texts are indeed in Schlegel‘s work architekturbezogenem installativem and a cardinal pixel, even if those are in an abstract form of reduced tears apart – but that is another story.
All artistic individual factors within their exhibitions woven into a whole installations, such as the visual extension of the room by lying on the floor giant round mirror. These mirror surfaces, the doubling works on the walls, and the constant metamorphosis of the image object, here the cloud is repeated with each step through the exhibition space in new space impressions and paraphrased.
In addition to the experimental use of the medium, there is also „pure“ photography in her work: In a large series the artist photographed many women from Los Angeles, in Beijing, it has recently occurred repeatedly. And with the acquisition and alienation of pornographic themes in her earlier, photography-based works played Eva Schlegel as subtle as dramatically with life and lust, with the allure of the forbidden or morally the interrelationship between exhibitionism and voyeurism. There are so many different themes, motives and conflicts of interest to the artist and inspire.
Even with the motif of the hand and the underlying importance of grasping and understanding within the current exhibition, they formulated Essenzielles. At the same time, the life-size casts of their own hands and those of her assistant will be understood as an indication of the craft of sculpture. What exactly taken the two protagonists in this frozen moment of the impression (and understood), have left to the imagination of the viewer. Eva Schlegel are always open to paintings and sculptures for our own associations and imaginations. And to deprive itself is not that enigmatic illusion, like the artist you do not ask first, what is the origin and purpose of grasping or what the „trick“ the falling man in a suit and without a parachute there. Because only the (unsolved) mystery of the image lends his inimitable poetic energy.
Eva Schlegel‘s work represents a kind of alchemical shift in context, she proposes confusing bridges between artistic media, combining almost irreconcilable create and experience areas that concern us mentally and emotionally for long.