Under the title Serendipity, the Kunsthalle Bielefeld presents Niklas Luhmann's original Zettelkasten, or file card box, along with drawings by Ulrich Rückriem from the period of 2005 onward, when he began devoting himself exclusively to drawing, and last, but not least, more than 40 works of art by Jörg Sasse, including two “Speicher,” or storage devices.
Niklas Luhmann's Zettelkasten is one of the icons of the social sciences and humanities. It is a visual elucidation of Luhmann's systems theory that hinges between the two juxtaposed artistic positions represented by Ulrich Rückriem and Jörg Sasse. Both Rückriem and Sasse refer to what Luhmann would call “systemic” concepts of art, according to which every image produced seems to appear spontaneously; it is only when they manifest as series and variations do they reveal and depict their meaning.
For several years Ulrich Rückriem has been working exclusively on drawings, turning them into print cycles and murals with motifs founded on systematic constructions of surfaces separated and connected by lines. Pursuing his basic method (1968) of allowing all steps of his work process to be comprehensible, Rückriem constructs geometric figures to make Teilungen (divisions), Gebundene Figurationen (connected figurations), and Freie Figurationen (free figurations). In the Teilungen, Rückriem deals with drawing in almost the same way that he does sculpture. With his principle of connecting dots with lines to make planes (alluding to Kandinsky), Rückriem runs the gamut when it comes to articulating planes, which, in turn, reflect his sculptural ideas. The series of motifs play with the “figure/ground problem,” meaning, the question of what is a figure and what is the background.
Analogous to the segments of a sculpture, Rückriem often uses layers of transparent paper, which allows the processes to become visible—just as he did in previous decades with his sculptures—so that they now manifest as interplay between form and color. Rückriem's abstraction arises out of systems and is based on variations.
Jörg Sasse's system of dealing with images finds an art form in the so-called Speicher, or storage devices. The show presents an overview of Sasse's oeuvre. Besides two of the Speicher, works from the series “Still Life,” “Lost Memories,” and “Tableaus” will be on display, along with the new series “Cotton Paintings.”
While the “Still Lifes” are derived from his own photographs, Sasse expanded his store of material to amateur photographs for his “Tableaus,” using found material by others. After extensive digital processing, his so-called “sketches” render about ten “Tableaus” per year. Jörg Sasse's “Tableaus” can hardly be called photographs; rather, they belong to an expanded concept of painting, an observation that is consistently carried out in the “Cotton Paintings.” Here, Sasse moves even further away from photography. The texture of the picture support blurs with the texture of the image, conveying an impression of fabric-like presence.
For several years now Sasse has been working on the “Speicher,” which are set up like analogue, relational databanks and are based on his archive of “sketches. The ”Speicher“ embody Sasse's work with images and his interest in their visual qualities. Sasse worked with old picture postcards to produce the new Speicher IV for the exhibition in Bielefeld. Here, he shows us a visual notion that has marked the collective view and opinion of pictures for decades, because ”it looks just like a postcard!" is still considered great praise among amateur photographers. The exhibition is sponsored by the State of North Rhine-Westphalia's Ministry for Family, Children, Youth, Culture, and Sports, the Kulturstiftung pro Bielefeld, and the Staff-Stiftung, Lemgo. A catalogue will be published in conjunction with the exhibition.
Curator: Dr. Friedrich Meschede
Assistant Curator: Meta Marina Beeck
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