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Florian Witt & Vincent Kück - Holo_Grafik_Karte
Location: EMDE GALLERY - Mainz
Florian Witt, Vincent Kück
The gallery is delighted to present the double exhibition "Holo_Grafik_Karte", giving a first insight into the work of the two Bremen artists Florian Witt and Vincent Kück. The exhibition is the prelude to the two solo exhibitions of the artists that will follow in the coming year.
Both Florian Witt and Vincent Kück studied at the HfK Bremen, both are friends with each other, share a studio and are in constant exchange about their work. In the exhibition at Emde Gallery, Florian Witt's figurative sceneries enter into dialogue with the abstract pictorial worlds of Vincent Kück. A collaborative work specially designed for the exhibition, a large-format chess game on which game pieces made of MDF boards face each other, is intended to build a bridge between the two artistic positions, which at first glance appear very different, but which nevertheless show connections and correspondences.
What both artists have in common is their interest in the surface, depth and location of things. The three conceptual components contained in the title of the exhibition - "holo(gram)", "graphic(card)" and "map" - express this again in a more metaphorical way: a hologram is the image of an object seemingly floating freely in space, creating the illusion of a virtual 3D image; the graphic card translates data in a way that it can be reproduced as an image on a computer monitor; and the map itself is a two-dimensional surface on which reality is located, represented.
Another thing they have in common, as already hinted at, is their proximity to the aesthetics of digital, rasterized visual worlds. What is decisive, however, is that their works are not created with the help of a computer, as the purple-gridded announcement picture of the exhibition with the pixelated sandwich might suggest, but that the artists approach the subject exclusively with the techniques of classical painting.
Computer games have always served Florian Witt as an important source of inspiration for his sceneries. "Impressions of the world of computer games", says the artist, "from their beginnings to the present day, shape the breakdance of colour worlds, compositional paths and abstraction spaces that dance in front of my inner eye in the quiet phases between actively working on paintings. My ideas come from it." On closer inspection, one recognizes figurations in various degrees of abstraction and forms of partly filigree, partly chunky figures and objects in the arrangement of his invented pictorial worlds. In their reduced form, they evoke associations with the pixel aesthetic of early computer games in particular. A proximity to computer aesthetics also results from the almost two-dimensional pictorial space, whereby this effect is mainly achieved by dispensing the central perspective.
Florian Witt paints as if drawing. He often uses ink pens so as not to succumb to the temptation of erasing. The motifs are usually set with only a few strokes and lines, the depicted is only hinted at and either presented in the midst of empty surfaces or combined with painterly pictorial elements such as flat colour fields. By omitting spatial elements, a certain placelessness is created, but also by the fact that the viewpoint from which the artist shows his things often only becomes clear to the viewer after several looks.
What also distinguishes Florian Witt's works is that he uses a formal language that one would not initially associate with an adult. Everything seems very childlike, the arrangement of the objects random. His pictures are not planned. Each picture remains a walk into unknown territory. The playful, sometimes humorous exploration and experimentation takes up a large part. Nevertheless, his paintings, which are reminiscent of children's drawings, turn out at second glance to be highly subtly composed, with the individual parts serving as points of orientation and leaving the viewer free to interpret them.
In addition, the artist also builds three-dimensional objects. Individual shapes are sawn out of industrially produced MDF panels, painted and assembled into sculptures, such as pylons. In the painting of the surface, they oscillate between picture and sculpture. It almost seems as if they have fallen out of the paintings. And like the paintings, they are characterized by a humorous, stylized approach.
In his paintings, Vincent Kück deals with the consequences and challenges of a world increasingly permeated by digital media, such as the accompanying question of the change in the subjectobject relationship. "In the digital media, an increasingly tightly meshed global network can be observed, in whose structure, on the other hand, the single individual becomes increasingly isolated," as the artist notes in his text "Forms of Disappearance". This kind of networking gets by without touching, without physical contact. The subject is increasingly thrown back onto itself. According to the artist, it is precisely this alienation from one's own body and the body of others that can be described as a metaphor for Lacan's mirror stage. In the mirror, according to Lacan, the infant recognizes its own reflection as such, perceives itself as a subject for the first time. From this moment on, the human subject is inseparably split, since, to put it simply, it can never be identical with its imaginary mirror image.
It is precisely this irrevocably lost, childlike state before indivisibility that Vincent Kück seeks to approach again with the help of abstract painting, "in order to develop sensitivity again for the depth of immediate perception." In a highly poetic way, he presents in his paintings a kaleidoscopic mixture of geometric but also organic forms. Many of his works are covered with meticulously constructed, gridded structures and patterns, showing coloured squares reminiscent of digital pixels, which contrast sharply with equally colourful backgrounds. Some of them seem very digital, but they are all created in the traditional way.
What is characteristic is that his works, which are composed of individual components, form a superordinate structure when viewed from a distance. It is only when one approaches the works more closely that new possibilities of perception open up to the viewer. It becomes apparent that the works are made in many steps and layers and, despite their two-dimensionality, suggest depth and sometimes even spatial shadows. Some compositions even seem to be composed of individual parts, appear fragmentary and suggest weathered house walls or the poster tears of the French realists from the sixties. What appears from a distance as a smooth two-dimensional surface gains more and more depth up close. The pictures play on different levels of reception at the same time: they offer both a "superficial" and a deeper reading - or in other words: they can be read on the surface, but also in depth.
As already mentioned, the artist understands his pictorial worlds as tools for sensitizing human perception. Because his paintings have haptic parts, which are diametrically opposed to the perfect, smooth surface of digital technology. In their structured complexity, Vincent Kück's paintings are reminiscent not least of classical topographical or thematic maps, but also of so-called mind maps. They thus offer a synonym both for the complex appearance that reality offers as well as for the artist's inner world of thought.
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