A quotation from the late work of Ludwig Wittgenstein “about certainty“ applies to a central concern of the three artists and is used as the title of the exhibition. The phrase “It is written.“ vouches in a biblical context for the truth of the following narration. Disassociated from this context, however, it loses this certainty and discloses other, new viewpoints such as, an auto-reference of the phrase on a visual level. Anna Lena Grau, Frank Hesse and Eske Schlüters search archives looking for forgotten or unknown stories. In their artistic work, they investigate philosphical and scientific methods looking for the extraordinary viewpoint in what is already known.
Frank Hesse´s (1970) work walks a fine line between scientifically precise examination and art. With his great appreciation for nuances he tells stories whose dramaturgy mirrors the highly topical discourse on the visual language in art and science.
In his two-part work ”De Ou Par Marcel Duchamp (2008)” Frank Hesse refers to the legendary father of conceptual art, Marcel Duchamp. His research led him to Duchamp’s childhood. In order to mark his favourite place in the garden of the house where he was born, Duchamp, at the age of 12, carved his name and the year on a beech tree: Duchamp Marcel 1901. The present owner of the property had to fell the tree in 1993 because it would otherwise have toppled. He did, however, keep the piece with the inscription and it is still in his garage. The treetrunk object was documented by Hesse in accordance with the artistic and contextual allegations in the first edition of the ”The Complete Works of Marcel Duchamp“ by Arturo Schwarz. Frank Hesse supplements the catalogue raisonné; the two pages – a painting and an index section- are inserted by means of a thin silver chain.
Eske Schlüters’ (1970) videofilms are a game of words, sounds and individual images redolent of their metaphorical character and the greater context which has been lost. By using film material from films made by other directors, Schlüters is writing a personal history of film in which complex atmoshpheres unfold in brief flashes. By using single and multiple projections, she researches the ”comprehension“ of moving pictures which are not governed by a strict narrative structure. Her open narrative method plays with conceptual thinking, agitating it and discovering new meanings.
Eske Schlüters latest film ”After the Rehearsal (2007)“ is based on a documentation of the shooting of Chatal Akerman’s film ”Jeanne Dielmann“ and focuses on the rehearsal of what are essentially everyday activities. The defamiliarisation effect inherent in cinematic dramaturgy is spotlighted by the isolation of the scenes where the actress rehearses her role for the camera. Eske Schlüters reflects the actor’s task of genuinely embodying the role, also on the level of sound when she translates from various languages texts on theatre theory and assembles them into an autonomous composition.
Anna Lena Grau’s (1980) interests are dominated by natural scientific areas as well as history of art. Her small-sized glass objects, the „Quallengläser 2008“ formally follow the inner moulding of a jellyfish, transfer its specific method of locomotion to the technical possibilities of glass blowing. The inversions and protuberances of the jellyfish glass objects are created by heating selective points of the viscous blow glass. For very large inversions, additional glass is partially melted which, with the aid of flow strength and additional suction in the blow tube, is then stretched. In her examination of scientific phenomena she educes formal structures from existing image associations, makes them independent, connects, layers, superimposes them freely associated with similar formations to then return them to the object.
“I am not interested in unambiguousness,“ writes Anne Lena Grau, “I examine moments in which the logical comprehension of familiar situations becomes confused, moments when the ambiguousness of the world becomes apparent. My work therefore consists of finding exemplary surrogates whose perception is able to split kaleidoscope-like, who experiences his own perception echo-like and floating.