6. Juni – 24. August 2008
the world should remain for now as it is
6. Juni – 24. August 2008 Eröffnung 6. Juni 2008, 19 Uhr
Lukas Einsele – Thomas Erdelmeier – Thomas Kilpper
The artists assembled here are characterized by a socio-political consciousness that is reflected in their artistic works and projects in various ways. The creative process becomes a constant confrontation with the origins and connections of the social and economic system as well as with the question of what role the individual can or is assigned in this context. Where can we find room for manoeuvre to help shape society, politics and the state? Where does the reality of civilization cease to be civil? To what extent do origin, society and economy construct the individual subject and determine our forms of communication? Using very different means, Lukas Einsele, Thomas Erdelmeier and Thomas Kilpper suggest the contradictions of a social order that in many areas presses for clarity, over-regulation and paradoxical morals. Social reality becomes a fund from which obvious questions are negotiated and from which one can draw both critically and lustfully. In this respect, the title of the exhibition “The world should initially remain as it is” could be formulated as a question or as a reversal.
Lukas Einsele (born 1963, lives in Darmstadt) shows a new work and his project “One step beyond – Reencounter with the Mine” (OSB) in the exhibition. It reports on different levels about victims of landmines and brings victims and mine into a visible relationship: Lukas Einsele travelled to heavily mined countries such as Angola, Afghanistan or Bosnia-Herzegovina and asked people who were wounded by a landmine to remember and tell him about the story of the accident. Einsele then produced black-and-white portraits of the narrators with a large-format camera. With the help of the reports and further research on military and mine maps and demining, he was able to draw conclusions about the possible type of mine that caused the “accident”. During his stays, Lukas Einsele took up other themes that revolve around the complex and monstrous: Mine clearance, mine clearance, rehabilitation. The starting point and central aspect of this project is memory as an active, image-generating process. For the numerous institutions in Germany and abroad in which OSB has been shown since 2001, Lukas Einsele develops forms of presentation tailored to the respective exhibition site, which always add to a subtle and equally penetrating image of this dark chapter. In the Kunsthalle Mainz, a small room within a room is created that corresponds to the floor plan at which “One step beyond” was first shown. The reproduced space and a selection of black-and-white portraits of the narrators correspond to a new video work by the artist in which four musicians memorize a classical piece of music. Here, the viewer attends a silent and at the same time highly charged performance without instruments.
The drawings, paintings and architectural models by Thomas Erdelmeier (born 1969, lives in Frankfurt/Main) are characterized by a keen sense of space. The plasticity, the extreme perspectives and the falling lines of flight appear like a reflex to an increasingly flat screen perception and at the same time as a mirror of an increasingly complex social system in which the subject tries to find his place and avoid disadvantages. The drawings, often the size of walls, some of them laid out as language and text spaces, merge different drawing languages and narrative styles. Many different elements and statements are interwoven as if they were a web, and they flash moments of both pessimism and confidence. The exhibition presents a selection of new paintings created since 2007. They largely leave the textual level, but not the multi-layered narrative. In the paintings, too, the virtuoso draughtsman, always drawing from the full, comes to bear. The dynamics of the image always also form an energetic field in which the artist takes a critical, stating and at the same time pleasurable approach to the questions that drive him about. Successful and exploitative forms of human communication, the question of participation in privileges as well as considerations about the religious origin of our present economic system and the resulting subject constructions are recurring themes.
The often monumental and extremely elaborate projects of Thomas Kilpper (born 1956, lives in Berlin) usually have two starting points. Starting from biographical stations, Thomas Kilpper’s artistic oeuvre always resonates with the sometimes direct confrontation with political realities. The concrete desire and insistence on design and co-determination as well as on changing social disparities form the artist’s spectrum of themes. The focus here is on the extent to which social or political questions are negotiable in the context of art. The project “Drowning Hercules” (2001), for example, shows that it can succeed: in a disused swimming pool, the artist created a ten-meter-high tree from all the wooden parts he could knock out of the rest of the building (built-in cupboards, doors, etc.). The tree was destroyed when the building was demolished. For a short time, Thomas Kilpper occupied the site, appropriated it, and returned the destroyed wooden parts as a sculptural image to their origins as a tree. The occupation of places and the handling of their history is another essential aspect of Kilpper’s work. For the Kunsthalle Mainz, Kilpper creates a space-filling installation consisting of about 20 drawings that float face down above the ground as a kind of parcours, literally turning the viewing upside down. The drawings are conceived as a biographical journey through time, which at the same time brings to mind formative socio-political events. Another installation, consisting of a frail and at the same time space-consuming wall, plays with the deconstruction of the elegance of the actual exhibition space and its architecture, which is focused on a concentrated view of art.