Briefe an die Schmetterlinge
Nov 14th—Dec 12th, 2008
Sies + Höke, Düsseldorf
It is certainly no coincidence that the visually most cautious work by Markus Vater entitles his exhibition. His Briefe an die Schmetterlinge (Letters to the butterflies) are very fine drawings on paper dated by the sender and signed with a familiar sounding „Euer Markus“ („yours Markus“). They are addressed to creatures that have become an allegory of resurrection, beauty and also momentariness due to their delicateness and their polymorphic metamorphoses. Thanks to the chaos theory we know that the flap of a butterfly can cause a whirlwind on the other side of the world. But can butterflies also read letters…?
The heart of the exhibition is the projected animation The Cave has been moved, which throws silhouettes on the wall like in a shadow play. Markus Vater brings a multitude of humans, animals and plants together which appear in everyday, grotesque to fairy-tale like populations to assemble in an evolutionary panopticon:
A mother gives birth to her child down from a tree, turns into a butterfly and flies away. Her baby grows up to a boyish faun until he gets buried underneath a rock flying down from the sky. A tree that is rapidly growing into the air spears the body of a young woman and carries along her head, which duels in the air with a skull. Superman flies along haughtily, but in the end is only able to shoot himself after being faced with the scenario.
Everything happens in front of a coulisse where in its fore and background everyday processes take place: bicyclists are passing by, airplanes darken the sky for a while, tanks keep driving in and out, plants and animals follow their upgrowth and reproduction. The projection darkens and enlightens, it turns from day to night and night to day. Everything is happening at the same time : in causal context or passing each other – in horizontal, vertical or diagonal sequences, into the picture or out of the picture. There is no beginning and no end. The more attentive you follow the momentums in detail, the clearer it gets that every action leaves its traces and causes further changes , even the smallest and inconspicuous ones. Markus Vater lets Platons cave go on a journey that passes through evolutionary history till the present.
His movie not only negotiates the relationship between light and shadow, but it is an artistically compacted metaphor on the cycle of life and death combining Creation and Apocalypse.
An always humorous, more poetic then cynical search for the principals of life is base of Markus Vaters works – drawings, animations and paintings – who is consciously using media and style in order to elude himself from a clear classification and despite art historical references always includes the current everyday life.
Monday—Friday10.00 am—6.30 pm