UnderCover is about layers, transparency, half transparency, covering as protection, covering as hiding , secrets, secret investigation, visual investigation, multi layering, camouflage, concealment, dissemble, enshroud, illusion, incognito, obscure, stealthy, veil and all that is beyond words.
The base material of the series “UnderCover” is a layer of laminated print products such as excerpts from daily newspapers, receipts and transport tickets, collected on journeys through different countries. This “time-related field” becomes the background for ink drawings with local references, for instance animals and plants of the Negev, the Judaean and the Syrian Desert.
Some of the drawings are partly covered with a coat of transparent, slightly colored epoxy resin. This materiality evokes the time-storing character of amber and refers to the scientific idea of a “gene pool”. Variants of materiality with consistent image motif – for example the works Bufotes_balearicus_female and Tulip_ agenensis – transform the context of the pictorial object. This seriality allows an examination of varied aspects of the topic.
The work „London Burning“ establishes a connection between the Great Fire of London in 1666 with the Grenfell Tower blaze in 2017 and poses questions about the relationship betweensociety and architecture.
Another topic area comprises three portraits of females dressed in burqas. The ornamental structure of these works counteract Western habits of perception. The drawings, which fill the surrounding space of the centered portrait, play with stereotypes of the „Arab East“, like the exotic notion of the harem, fragments of European corsages of the 18th century and the scientific classification of animals and plants of the Middle East. This body of work draws on the theories of Edward Said – publicized in his book “Orientalism” in 1978 – and his critical reappraisal of the Western gaze at the cultures of the Middle East.
1-6: drawings in ink on laminated newspaper pages, each 35 x 45 cm, 2017
7-9: drawings in ink on laminated newspaper pages beneath layers of epoxy resin, 34 x 24 cm, 2017
10-12: drawings in ink on laminated newspaper pages beneath layers of epoxy resin, 41 x 35 cm, 2017/18
13-15: drawings in ink on laminated newspaper pages beneath layers of epoxy resin, 132 x 132 cm, 2018
The Sneezing of Socrates
In addition to its symbolic meaning “The sneezing of Socrates” creates a specific physical effect. Due to the transformation of lime plaster into limestone over time, the sculpture detracts carbon dioxide from the surrounding air and replaces it with oxygen. This higher oxygen concentration in the proximity of the work has a positive impact on the cognitive abilities of the observer. In simple words: Remaining in the vicinity of the installation makes viewers smarter!
Here you will find an essay by Dr. Gudrun Pamme-Vogelsang about the work.
The sneezing of Socrates, base 40×40 cm, head 100×100 cm, porcelain/stucco lustro/wood, 2013