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Indepth Arts News:

"Another Line: New Forms of Drawing"
2004-07-16 until 2004-09-26
Staatliche Kunsthalle Baden-Baden
Baden-Baden, , DE Germany

The exhibition "Another Line" is a first overview of new forms of drawing from the 1990s to the present day. Starting from an intensive reevaluation of this genre by a new generation of young artists, the exhibition focuses on the diverse correspondences between drawing on the one hand and the disciplines of installation, sculpture, video, photography, action art, conceptual art and environment on the other.

Current approaches to an expansion of drawing build on achievements of 20th century art history and further develop historical approaches in a decidedly contemporary vein. Today the genre of drawing shows that it has liberated itself from academic tasks and from its classical restriction to small formats and few materials. Above all in minimal and conceptual art of the 1960s, drawing achieved outstanding new significance and emancipated itself from its formerly marginal role in the hierarchy of artistic genres. The minimalists reduced the essence of the drawing to a purified and largely abstract notion of line. Starting from this radical concept, the drawing conquered the paper in a new way and later moved outward into the surrounding space, into neighboring art forms such as performance, and even into the landscape, ultimately spreading to all genres and media.

Current artistic positions with regard to drawing assume this mediumís openness as a given and unquestionable basis for further artistic work. But unlike the situation in the past, the former dogmatic division has now been abolished which had divided the genre into abstraction and conceptualism on the one hand, figuration and narrative pleasure on the other hand. Narration and conceptualism currently interpenetrate each other in a wide variety of ways.

Expansions of the drawing into its surrounding spaces are particularly noteworthy. Peter Pommerer transforms soberly objective exhibition rooms into spatially encompassing artworks. He draws directly on the walls, which thereby become magically concentrated chambers of drawings. Artists like Heike Weber and Nic Hess rely on unconventional materials (e.g. threads or strips of adhesive tape) which stretch across the surfaces of the walls and bridge the corners of the rooms, hereby expanding the actual space into new imaginary dimensions. Jochen Flinzer applies embroidery to freestanding, screen-like room dividers to create a diverse interplay between front and back, figuration and abstraction, the fleeting sketch and its detailed formulation.

Other artists carry the drawing into the fields of movement and process. Michaela MeliŠn uses circling slide projectors to project the images of sewn sketches onto a panoramic screen that completely encircles the spectator. Jeppe Hein invites the exhibitionís visitors to use their own physical movements to set a metal ball into motion. The ball repeatedly smashes against the walls with such force that it gradually traces an exact line of destruction into the room itself. Drawing here acquires the corporeal sense of literally being "marked" with the scars of life. This connotation is similarly evident in the tattoos that Daniele Buetti works into his photographs. Santiago Sierraís artwork "250 cm line tattooed on six paid people, Espacio Aglutinador, Havana, December 1999" is a critical commentary on capitalist mechanisms of exploitation and the conventions of the art business.

Stefan Sousís deconstructions of technical devices, which he transforms into three-dimensional installations in the style of exploded drawings, as well as artworks from the field between drawing and film by Francis Alˇs (sketched animation), Jonathan Monk (laser installation) and Alexander Roob (reportersí sketches), exemplify other important positions through which the exhibition "Another Line" documents the intellectual ingenuity and narrative power of the medium of drawing in contemporary arts.

The exhibition presents approximately 20 installations, photographs, videos, sculptures and wall works by Francis Alˇs, Daniele Buetti, Jochen Flinzer, Peter Friedl, Claude Heath, Jeppe Hein, Nic Hess, Katharina Hinsberg, Rachel Lowe, Michaela MeliŠn, Jonathan Monk, Jorge Pardo, Peter Pommerer, Alexander Roob, Santiago Sierra, Stefan Sous and Heike Weber. (The foregoing list is provisional and subject to change without prior notice).

The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue featuring essays by Fritz Emslander, Markus Heinzelmann, Johannes Meinhardt and Gabriele Sand, as well as texts about the artistic works by Andreas Bee, Martina Dobbe, Fritz Emslander, Martin Engler, Nicole Fritz, Markus Heinzelmann, Karin Herbert, Oliver Kornhoff, Simon Maurer, Michaela MeliŠn, Gabriele Sand, Raimar Stange and Dirk Teuber.

Daniele Buetti

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