Rockelmann& Dialog on Sight – Yasmin Alt & Sebastian Biskup
Curated by Michaela Richter
Opening: April 17th, 2014, 6–9pm
Exhibition: April 18th, - June 21st, 2014
Artist Talk - Bagel Brunch: Sunday, May 4th, 2014, 12–2pm
Guided Tour with the Curator: Monday, June 2nd, 2014, 7pm
ROCKELMANN& is pleased to announce the exhibition “Dialog on Sight – Yasmin Alt & Sebastian Biskup,” curated by Michaela Richter. The exhibition brings together a selection of works by Sebastian Biskup and Yasmin Alt. The artists are united by their shared interest in how structural elements shape specific perceptual spaces, and how by tilting these, their qualities can thereby be made clear.
Each in their own way, Alt and Biskup are investigating fundamental components of specific visual languages and their own aesthetics, playing with them as well as with notions of two-and three-dimensionality. Similar and contrasting features of the two artistic approaches become clear in the dialog of the works presented. Though both artists question how vision is directed, their bodies of work are dedicated to different perceptual spaces. Because of this, along with their individual handlings of systematization and improvisation, their positions’ observations are complementary.
Sebastian Biskup’s work is informed by a conceptual engagement with formal processes. Utilizing strictly executed methods of abstraction and reduction, he seeks to reveal the elements that determine our viewing habits, as well the relationships between them. The basic question for him is how the gaze is oriented within the space of the image, how our perceptions are influenced by composition, layout, and design – how these produce meaning even before figurative and textual elements.
When Biskup examines the design of exhibition invitations, newspaper layouts, historical paintings, or — as in his latest work — images from professional wrestling broadcasts, he poses the question of how mood, significance, novelty, and attraction are optically induced.
In his approach, Biskup makes no distinction between high culture and vernacular detritus: masterpieces of painting from different eras, tabloids, advertisements, and TV shows all serve him equally as source materials. By analyzing and averaging their hues and surfaces, summarizing and breaking them down into simple geometric shapes or mere outlines, he insists on flattening the two-dimensional space of the image until the illusion of depth and its components’ targeted optical evocation of atmosphere become evident.
Yasmin Alt is also committed to the de-composition, re-composition, and strategic emphasis of particular visual aspects, but her work takes the form of playful yet bold objects that have their origin in architectural elements. She traces their rhythm, materiality, functionality, and presence by presenting them apart from their original contexts, making them stand alone, or placing them in unfamiliar combinations with each other.
“Auf der anderen Seite” (On the other side, 2012), for example, refers to supporting constructions as can be found behind soundproofing walls. On the one hand, the structure Alt created demonstrates the mathematical character of this kind of object, but on the other hand, the interconnected ends of long wooden struts confuse our view. By constantly prompting us to detect new triangles that are never actually physically present and therefore perpetually shifting, this self-supporting structure is given a fragility that seems to contradict its origins. Similar moments of calculated irritation can also be found in “Two Towers” (2014). Here, Alt’s clever color processing of surfaces comes into play, creating 3D-effects that allow the margins and depth of objects to visually oscillate.
For “Die Erinnerung ist etwas unscharf” (The memory is a little blurred, 2012), Yasmin Alt enlarged the ornamental pyramidal structures found on the façades of Italian and Portuguese houses (Diamantrustika) such that these are no longer perceived as mere accessories, but become the main foci of attention. This is further strengthened by the oval frame that Alt has fashioned and molded around the edged formation.
Tracing, converting, transferring, and highlighting that which is seemingly self-evident, that which is easily overlooked, signifies and distinguishes the artistic approaches of both Sebastian Biskup and Yasmin Alt. Their specific uses of shapes, colors, and objects lend their works a presence and dynamic that not only leads us to new perspectives on the spaces and sources they are addressing, but at the same time makes the resulting artworks interesting in and of themselves as aesthetic objects.
Both artists will be present for the opening reception on April 17th, 2014, from 6pm to 9pm.
For questions or further information please contact Markella Ntavou at firstname.lastname@example.org
Many thanks to the Alfred Ehrhardt Foundation for technical support
and Jens Heller for his assistance.