Poem. Thomas Feuerstein
401contemporary, Fine art gallery, Tiergarten, Berlin, Germany
9 September – 15 October 2011
In POEM Thomas Feuerstein transgresses the border of language as a ‘mere’ medium of communication through a hypostatical transformation, which converts the breath of words into molecular sculptures. The linguistic constitution of art becomes the departure point for Feuerstein’s art as he connects language distillates and mixes them with the biochemical and social processes of life. Art speech is transformed into the very ingredient of art, which will be fed back into the physical metabolism of the speaking body in the form of liquor.
Talking – distilling – drinking, that is the repetitive formula. The more art is spoken about, the more art is produced in the form of ice, water and alcohol. This leads to more drink and a more talkative speaker.
When speaking, humid air escapes the mouth. In POEM. these ‘humid words’ hit the cold metal of the microphone, condense, freeze and form ice crystals. This ice layer grows thicker with each spoken sentence until dewdrops start falling down into a bowl, which triggers the functioning of a machine. Chemical processes commence; the water is heated to steam, pressed through earth, enriched with gases and electrically ionized. LA GROSSE DONDON, ‘the Fat Mother’, is the name of the part of the machine in which alcohol is produced without fermentation. Parallel to this process, another part of the machine uses the water to cook an Ursuppe (primal soup).
Through endless circulation in the machinery, the liquids are transmuted into organic chemistry and are enriched with amino acids. LE PÈRE RÉPÉTITIF, ‘the Masturbating Father’, mixes his body fluids with the alcohol produced by ‘the Fat Mother’ to create a distillate which finally drips into bottles that will be archived in the bar cupboard ‘Genius in the bottle’. The labels of the bottles entrap us in multiple stories, evoking elixirs and essences inhabited by ‘Genies in the Bottle’. As enzymes and catalysts, they await the moment in which they will become effective in us, the moment in which their presence will initiate thoughts, images and actions, stir neuronal programs and transform realities. If in the beginning was the word, the genius in the bottle presides at the end, carefully creating new acts of talking with every gulp, and making sure that Art’s Circulation is forever energized.
THOMAS FEUERSTEIN’s (b. 1968) work is created in a variety of media and includes installations, environments, objects, drawings, paintings, sculpture, photography, video, audio dramas and internet art. Essential ingredients are the connection between linguistic and visual elements, the tracing of latent links between fact and fiction and the interlacing of art and science.
Dr. Ralf-Otto Hänsel (Owner/Director)
Potsdamer Strasse 81 B
Berlin (Tiergarten), Germany