Thursday 11 September 2014

"Planning the Future" at Delmes & Zander, Berlin

Prophet Royal Robertson, STUPIT MRS ADEL, 1990s, ink marker enamel and
paint on cardboard, 71 x 56 cm. Courtesy Delmes & Zander, Berlin + Köln

Delmes & Zander I Berlin presents

Planning The Future:
Karl Hans Janke - Prophet Royal Robertson - George Widener

17. September - 1. November 2014
Opening: Wednesday, 17.09., 6 – 10 pm

With “Planning The Future” Galerie Susanne Zander opens its Berlin space Delmes & Zander to the public for the first time and will feature a selection of works by three artists – Karl Hans Janke, Prophet Royal Robertson and George Widener - whose long-term visions have propelled them to revisit and re-imagine larger systems of knowledge. All three positions are eccentric and inspiring, and ingeniously depart from accepted ways of thinking in order to re-imagine the rules of culture and science. All three individuals develop their ideas and practices outside of official institutions and established disciplines. Whether by means of visionary engineering, calendrical equations, utopian architectural blueprints or space travel designs, the undertaking of all three artists is obsessive, elaborate, pseudo-empirical and an ambitious attempt to define and redefine the future.

Karl Hans Janke's (1909 – 1988) works, only discovered after the iron curtain came down, show visions of inter-galactic travel, diagrams of the cosmos and of the origins of life: all his inventions and ideas were, in his own words, "for the benefit of humanity and aimed toward propagating peace." From within the seclusion of a psychiatric hospital in East Germany, where he lived in since the 1950's, he produced more than 4,500 drawings of various technological inventions, chief among which were fantastic flying machines and propulsion mechanisms rendered in exquisitely detailed technical sketches.

Prophet Royal Robertson's (1930-1997) rant-repertoire includes biblical prophesies, numerical formulas, and visions of dream houses and space travel merging such disparate themes as messianic eschatology, futurism and science fiction. Many of this works include calendars chronicling memories of his allegedly unfaithful ex-wife Adell and their destroyed marriage in brief journal notations scribbled in each date's block. A preoccupation with numerology and biblical prophecies of earth's final days as found in the book of Revelation is pervasive.

George Widener (*1962), a calendar-calculating savant since childhood, uses his extraordinary mathematical and calculating capability to embed complex mathematical puzzles or calendrical equation into his drawings. Numbers are also applied to urbanism and are fundamental to his "Megalopolises" - Widener's imaginary cities. Widener was last shown in Berlin at the "secret universe" series at the Hamburger Bahnhof in 2013.

George Widener will be present at the opening in Berlin.

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