|Investigating Lost Time
Conjectures about the Paintings of Andreas Jauss 1997 - 1998
For the benefit of understanding, first an explanation of the desired presentation by the artist is necessary. Why are the physical measurements of each work the same? Why are the works mounted, or displayed at public showings, the way that they are? Is the selection or the choice of the shown paintings really exchangeable as it looks?
Each painting to be hung for exhibition has the same width and height measurements, and because of this uniformity, the artist is able to accumulate and to hang paintings so that they appear as one "block". The artist is able to cover an entire exhibition space with his paintings ensuring the same space distance between the pieces.
Various genres of pictures are included within a block and the variety has significance. Cityscapes are mingled with interior views of rooms; close-up resemblances to early film stills are mixed with motifs often drawn from various newsmagazines; depictions of travel destinations share space with ideas taken from the archives of art history. This searching and investigating of themes, the mingling of actuality, both forgotten and remembered, are also an attempt to lay the "cornerstones"*1 upon which the image of reality is supposed to be grounded. By looking closely at the pieces, the nomenclature as it were, the whole can be known. The poet/narrator in Andre Gides Paludes asks himself: "What do I tell of this moment? Why do I tell of this [moment] more than of the other? Do we really know what is of importance? What a presumption to make a choice! Let us look on everything with the same attention".He continues to ask, " Viewing! What do I see? Three greengrocers passing by. An autobus, of course. A gatekeeper sweeps in front of his door. The shopkeepers freshen their store windows. The cook goes to the market. Pupils go to the school. Kiosks receive their magazines. Men in haste buy them. They set up tables in front of the café".*2
Scenes of an apparent frozen reality; action moments bearing the pattern of repetition in their everyday triviality;self-referential fulfillment without increase of perception are completed in their temporary singularity.
Variations of these particulars are the substance of the artist imagination and the images that he finds in the world. The paintings here, however, do not provide the viewer with stable, stiff, and safe identities, which could be deceiving. The quietness and the persistence is delusive. If nothing else, the paintings could even s how us anticipated catastrophes, a destabilized structure which marks the intersection between now and then, between future occurrence and present action.
Besides the attempt to certify and to acknowledge our surroundings from both sensualistic and perceptible perspectives, the artist here attempts to find a way to address the problem of representation, fully cognizant of the absence of the answer to this question: Can attributes of modern lifestyle and everyday experiences be represented by images created by the artist? B. Brecht writes " Any attempt to answer the question is complicated because a simple reproduction of reality tells less about reality itself. For example, a photograph or any other visual representation of the Krupp industrial complex or the AEG plant tells almost nothing about these institutions. The actual reality has transgressed into the functional; the objectification of the human realities, i.e., the factory, precludes turning the factory back into the human realities. It is really necessary to build up something artificial. It is necessary to create art."*3
If reality is actually a construction, as B.Brecht claims, the attempt of the artist underlies the desire to reappropriate reality.*4
The focusing of transitions, fracture points, time-space constellations, the cutting to pieces and dismembering of things and then putting them together again into a whole can be compared to "television channel surfing" as a principle of function. In other words, by analogy, the television viewer has devised a way of organizing electronic images and their conditions; television serves millions of pictures individually to a million strong audience day by day and viewers can arrange them in a million different ways simply by using the remote control. Further, they daily consume pictures on television at the very moment of a catastrophic event, for example, an earthquake, a firestorm, a flood -- this list could go on and on -- natural disasters destroy in seconds structures that have been built to be strong and safe. There is continually something that is happening. Change the channel and there is a different image, if it is only the offer of a better laundry detergent. Try to shorten the interval betwee n these images and there will be left nothing but the prophetic rustle and static reminiscent of the image that a single channel provides when the station has gone off the air at the end of the day.
Here, we have an investigation of lost time.
*1 Paul de Man in: Derrida,Jaques Memoires ; für Paul de Man, Passagen 1988
*2 Gide, Andre´ Paludes Suhrkamp,1960
*3 Brecht,B. Breuer,Gerda (Hrsg) Aussenhaut+Innenhaut;Photographie und Architektur, Henry van der Velde Gesellschaft Hagen 1997
*4vgl. Konstruktivismus; Geschichte und Anwendung DELFIN 1992. Suhrkamp, Wissenschaft