Nippoldt | Martina Schumacher
At the end of the universe we see ourselves
the past the road led "from the closed world into the infinite universe,“
as the French historian of science Alexandre Koyré wrote in 1957.
Koyré was examining the development from the Middle Ages to the
Baroque, a development which was determined in optical terms through the
invention of artistic perspective and of new astronomical instruments.
A gaze into the distance, which on earth always ends at the horizon, could
be expanded through a telescope to reach to the farthest stars.
Astrid Nippoldts video "The Serendip Stadium“ shows scenes
from a racetrack during a snowstorm. The image becomes less and less clear
whenever the camera draws closer. Snowflakes become long glittering streaks,
a horse’s coat and tack appear to be the body and strings of a violin.
The moving images of the film "transport“ us to various levels
of visibility. The sequences have an almost impressionistic affect and
recall the period during which still images "learned to move“
– not the least because they depict horses, whose course of movement
was first made visible through Muybridge’s sequential photographs.
Detachment also plays a significant part in the work of Martina Schumacher. Her large format pictures are composed of thousands of sequins. These small colorful round metal plates with a hole in the middle were most often sewn onto clothing during the reign of the glitter-disco style. The original motives – the artist’s own photographs, illustrations from magazines and books or pictures from the Internet – are scanned and, using a computer program developed by the artist especially for this purpose, "analysed.“ The program decides which of the 45 possible sequin colors will be used at each point in the new rendering of motive. The contours of the original motives, which are spread over the sequins as if dissolved into pixels, coalesce only when one stands at a certain distance from the image. Whether a portrait, an ice-covered mountaintop, or the branches and leaves of a tree, the motives drawn from day-to-day experience can all be identified from the appropriate external point. The views of a "supernova,“ three of which appear in the exhibition, could be just as easily understood by the uninitiated as the interpretation of a microscopic image of the corpuscles. As in the work of Astrid Nippoldt, a disturbing, ambiguous play with scale, dimensions and the combination of elements takes place. Martina Schumacher, a self-declared "supporter of beauty,“ lays particular weight on the exquisitely glittering surface, from which new affects continuously emerge. This is due not only to changes in the light: the sequins, suspended on nails at a slight distance from the background, move as soon as one passes close to the image or when a breath of air touches them. The space within the image and the space of the observer have an effect on one another.
The universe of images, which flows over us day after day, seems to be infinite
and to include everything that can possibly be captured visibly. It is easy
to forget that clear visibility only emerges as a result of certain exterior
and subjective circumstances. What is more probable is that we see things
indistinctly, unclearly, only partially or not at all.