Jochen Boberg

Fragile Continuum – Playing with Space and Time

"I felt dizzy when I saw below me and nevertheless in me, as if I were many miles high, so many years.
... as if all the people were squatting on living, endlessly growing stilts, sometimes as high as church towers, which finally made walking more and more difficult and dangerous for them, until they suddenly dropped down.
(I would) … describe the people (even when they resembled real monsters then) as beings occupying, in addition to the restricted portion of space saved for them, an immeasurably large area in TIME."
(Marcel Proust, Times Regained, last paragraph)

All art - from the very beginning and independently of designations - means setting in the lived space, in time went through. And it is great - I would prefer to call it "true" - art, when the relation of existence-requiring dimensions so peculiarly described by Proust came to our awareness, attacked us, so becoming an "image" in its initial meaning.

Some names that Theurer gives his objects: "Space-Time", "Relative Space", "Plato's Cube" - i.e. the object that is just its own shadow, "Labyrinth" - inescapable, "Great Illusion" - the toppled menhir, the lump of space with the even heavier loaded Sisyphus, "Time Folds I - III" - spaces blended with language (knowledge) tilting into time, the flapped "Free Spaces", thin-walled and time-permeable, earlier already the "Paradoxic Space", not the two sides of a coin but the Janus face experience, and then the "Requiem" the human who goes out of time, leaving his shadow in space thrown by the still existing body.

These are not imaginative titles. This is the truth, i.e. the art of Andreas Theurer, how I see it: from the beginning. With all their might, the early figures take the space given to them; then the figures that have to be their selves with heavy loads: always portraits of the inner sensitivity of the human being. Even where there seems to be no human figure, it is replaced by the language - as in the case of the monument -, or the inhabited location, where the sculpture is placed.

In the course of the time of his life, Andreas Theurer's view of the world has been changing of course, the materials have changed by which he expressed this. Today we know all about the inside and outside of the world, the relativity of space and time, the N dimensionality of the universe, the strings, the worm and black holes in the universe. So it would be strange when an artist who lives in this time did not recognize this. You may call it (I feel: disparaging) development. I see in it more the strong, conscious artist personality concerned to take us with him on this way. This is a privilege of art, of the artist.

And more: Andreas Theurer works with different materials and in strongly varying dimensions: stone, wood, metal, even wire and cardboards. His works: sometimes tiny, sometimes almost monumental. An indication of arbitrariness? No, definitely no, for in addition to all his imaginative power he is a master of his craft. He knows about the inherent power of the materials, the "material latency", an inevitable prerequisite of good art. The fragile expresses the fragile, the heavy the heavy, the labile the labile. Art, in particular visual art, has to pass through the material; only then it can be effective, real, true. Andreas Theurer knows this and acts as a true master. Here is reason - because so often forgotten - to talk about quality which should determine the judgement of art. Not fashion, not the market, not the taste decide in the end about the value of art but the well made and significant work. Andreas Theurer has exactly reached this point.

Just like a proof of this, there is the sculpture "Gold Dust" among his works (pages 56-57). A monumental figure as if taken out of time, dominating the space and lightened by gold. In facing this image, no divinatory interpretation is needed. You have to dive into this dialogue, and you will experience a new world.
December 2012

 

Catalogue „Strange Horizon - Andreas Theurer“, Damm und Lindlar-Verlag, Berlin 2012