Tuesday 5 November 2013

"Fully written and therefore complete..." at GALERIE SUSANNE ZANDER, Cologne

"Prophet" Royal Robertson, untitled, undated,
mixed media on paper, approx. 30,5 x 23 cm

"Fully written and therefore complete..." 

8. November - 21. December 2013
Opening: Friday, 8.11., 6 - 9 pm

///  with works by Horst Ademeit, Martin Erhard, J.B. Murray, Royal Robertson, Bruno Schleinstein, August Walla and anonymous artists ///
“Fully written and therefore complete...” With this sentence coal miner Martin Erhard completed, according to his own written statement, the last sheet of a small 51-page drawing pad on Friday, March 24, 1972. The pad is simultaneously constituent, self-observation, and documentation and throws light on a body of work which explores almost obsessively a dualistic conception of the world: a world that on one hand can

be recorded topographically, but which down in its depths conceals rooms that can lead to the human abyss. Language and type as originators of ideas, as instruments of world creation, as materialization of concepts; or simply as a structural means of numeration as in the case of Mrs. H., who records in her “prostitute elimination diaries” the number of prostitutes which she has killed in her imagination in different German cities such as Bottrop, Castrop Rauxel, and Brühl; or the self-proclaimed Prophet Royal Robertson for whom word fragments materialize the futuristic visions of his universe, a universe controlled by space ships, extraterrestrials and biblical prophesies. And also from the secret writings of J.B. Murray, which can only be read by healers and with the help of a Coca Cola bottle. Or Horst Ademeit, who in hundreds of Polaroids inscribed with micro writings tried to document what he has known for over forty years: that the “cold rays” are out there to harm you.  

Writing as the foundation of a system. In their works, the artists develop their own visions about the future and their personal mythologies, creating their independent incomparable universe in the process. These artists could be called conceptual outsiders, a term used by Roberta Smith used for the first time in 1994 in relation to Dietrich Orth’s paintings, all of which come with instructions for the viewer. Conception and idea are at the basis of these works, most of which are a result of a life-long exploration of one single topic. Alongside the pictures of these artists there are always sketches, writings, and recordings, which in turn unfold their own very special esthetic magnetism. And although hardly any of the artists had an academic education they intuitively use the artistic strategies and make esthetic decisions, which make up the quality of artistic works.

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