If one views the past, be it in glances through old magazines, in movies of lost eras, or in visions of what was to come, the stream of history is laid bare, flowing forward to the present day. If one stops at a certain point and ignores what has followed, the stream opens up and the flow is forced to take whatever path we fancy.
The Artists presents a romanticized and slapstick vision of how we are or are not living. Staged figures occupy the realm of unrealized buildings or monuments, their geometric stylization skewing human forms into architectural plottings. The eyes of the dreamer rest upon both a forgotten vestige and a future transpired, with a sense of sentimentality overshadowed by a cold and uncanny pallor. These opposing viewpoints converge to produce glimpses of alternate timelines, where idealized visions of contemporary life and bohemia are filtered through past conventions. The mythologized status of the artist as a social being is examined as it exists and as it has been fantasized.
The works’ colorless palette and constructivist aesthetic hint at records of nonexistent times, commemorating absurd regimes that never came to fruition. Noirish shadows spread under expressionistic backlighting; the breezy theatricality of a performance piece freezing into history painting, a communion between artist friends becomes enshrined in neoclassical simplicity. Contemporary media, meshing with bygone trends of the historical avant- garde, produces a perspective of aesthetics that falters to find a foothold on the accepted timeline of art history.
All the works here can be seen as dedications offered as passionate answers to the necessity of fleeting and overburdened ideas. The paintings project unrealized actions and sculptures, the writing – “Cologne Painter” – an exhibition never to be displayed. “Cologne Painter” is satire poking fun at the sanctioned language of the press release, and a part of a collection of writings to be published in novel form under the title “Press Release Me.”