The exhibition centers on an object. It is a book, the sketchbook of the artist, his diary. It is open and immovable. An object filled with aura, an incunabulum of our time. On the opposite side, a large-format video projection shows the same book in which somebody scrolls for us. With each page that is turned, the voice of the artist resonates. The spoken word and the picture shown relate to each other. Does the drawing illustrate the spoken word or does the word explain the image? Either way, the diary, titled “Standard Bible”, refuses to be a chronology, a historical reading. It is not a life story or a report of suffering. Instead, we are confronted with associative fragments stemming from a deconstructed world of experience.
If one analyzes Thiede’s drawings, they seem to respond to an information overkill, to our daily excessive demands: Images that comes from different contexts overlap, various techniques are applied and appear in a variety of forms. Substantial content mixes with banality, while the composition elevates both to the same level of a subjective symbolism. Thiede’s art is not a naive attempt to structure complexity. He rather tries to create a framework, in which complexity can thrive, but allows for a constructive experience.
The video’s designated length to acoustically and visually experience one page of the book, is restricted to three seconds. This matches the ideal time frame our human brain requires in order to process information. Brain scientists refer to this phenomenon as the “soul’s breath” (Ernst Pöppel). These three seconds allow us to partake in the artist’s attempt to find self-assurance in a multitude of moments. On the one hand, we are observers of a cryptic omphaloskepsis. On the other hand, the gaps between the semantic layers inspire our imagination, and with every breath our soul gains another piece of freedom.
Text by Christian Schoen (Translation by Tatjana Schaefer)
Artist: Thomas Thiede
Venue: Nir Altman, Munich
Exhibition title: täglich um zu denken (Daily to think)
Date: December 5, 2018 – January 12, 2019
Photography: Dirk Tacke.
Text/Press release and images provided by the event.
© Nir Altman, Munich, Germany E.U.