BERND KIRSCHNER - AFTER FOREVER
Új Művészet, published in the July 2015 issue
Article written by Brigitta Muladi, translated by Evelin Pál
The present event of Artfactory celebrates Bernd Kirschner, German artist, graduated in Stuttgart in 2000, who within the framework of the cooperation with the Berlin based gallery Michael Schultz, arrived to the Budapest residency program – focusing solely on painting – which since 2006 houses Hungarian artists and lately provides introduction opportunities for foreign painters as well.
In the loft spaces of the former factory building, the images surely have space to unfold themselves – both the ones with dimensions measured in meters, also the ones which are a few ten square cm-s. The young German artist drags the viewer into a memory flow with his paintings placed afar from each other. He produces a transparent tarnish on the canvas, which as fluid – reminiscent of the animations of William Kentridge – becomes the material of remembrance, the conveyor of it, and from which the silhouettes deriving from the bottom of our conscious emerge. The evanescent figures, forms must provide a different meaning to each viewer. The exhibition material, the title of the entire cycle of imagery follows the earlier poetic voice (Aero 2010, Lautes Schweigen, 2011): Tales from Nowhere. The title of Don George’s book from 2006 also rings a bell, which gives account of a general, existential and intellectual floating experience with which the exact place has not much to do with.
This is a realm of our secret ties felt anywhere and nowhere, our moods which are barely tangible on the threshold of our conscious; the world of our desires, which is beyond interpretation and abstract, time and space. True, we receive handholds from the artist, the titles refer to the existential questions that we all are occupied with – Zug des Lebens, Get Lucky, Spiegel der Ursachen aller Dinge –however, he does not define one single interpretation in the depiction, the water ripples, the outlines of figures, animals and groups of people who stand out from the vibrating air.
There is a type of romantic at the same time universal validity in the paintings, which is its virtue and fault as well. The pictures are lovable and they immediately take us to a familiar world, however, they might be closer to the accurate expression of our lives today if they weren’t solely governed by melancholic, tender poetry.
Although he often creates uncertainty around the place and epoch in a clever manner, besides he twangs the roots by employing the color palette of baroque sketches applied with rapid motion, with the recognizable clothing he no doubt exhibits a present day life and speaks about the common problems of humanity. Nevertheless, he avoids expressing specific stances, grim revelations, indications, with the exception of the Muslim group of women from Excursion, where he with a very simple method –strangely moving vague human figures in the fluid scenery - projects multiple strata of interpretation, such as wars of religious authority, status of women which interestingly for centuries has hardly changed, misunderstood cultural differences, role deception.
Kirschner uses softer colors year by year, with more liquidity, he paints by almost concealing the theme, the figures are barely emerging from the background with minimal narrative; his aim is evidently to look for a creation process with an autonomous, reduced set of instruments, an individual voice that oscillates between the borderline of figuration and abstraction, and the painting that works without words and concept descriptions.
Translation: Evelin Pál