Vademecum for the river as such.

After giving her previous exhibition series the titles >Conquest of the Landscape< and >Hunt<, Konstanze Siegemund now presents her latest collection under the motto >Land<. In doing so, she is taking a step back, in a manner of speaking. By no means is this meant to imply the opposite of progressive movement but, rather, a movement away from outward appearances and toward their essence. In other words, strictly speaking, she´s taking a step forward.

In Siegemund´s previous series of images, she focused her observations on the actions of human beings within nature – and the traces they inevitably leave behind. These actions were also the source of the names she gave her work. What she now presents us with is something that deserves to be called simply >Land< – in all of its associations. Siegemund is now moving toward that which human beings must first prepare for in order to have a relationship with it. Indeed, the moment human beings enter into nature, a mark is inevitably left: bridges, hedges, animal cadavers … Now, in the moment of encountering > Birke (>Birch<), >Nacht< (>Night<) and >Elster<, this truth is still far away, and the artist, as it were, opens up a level of reflection that sets its sights – and the paintbrush – on discovering the essence of our relationship with nature.

One manner of interpreting this approach would be to reflect upon the terms >crea-ture< and >cul-ture<: the former is the origin of all existence, while the latter is born and evolves out of the former into a type of arrogant pretension that believes itself to be superior. The meeting of these two on and within Siegemund´s work evokes arcs of thought that touch on that which is essential in human existence – and, therefore, also that which is essential in all of our very individual ways of existing – up to and including the question of Heimat (>home<). It is striking that, in doing so, the artist demonstrates no kind of posturing in terms of intellectual wiliness and, indeed, there is not even a fatuitous coquetry with nature as a type of misunderstood marvel. Siegemund would not be who she is if visitors to her exhibitions came with expectations of staid landscape paintings from a hackneyed personality. Instead, the breadth of her canvases is an ample reflection of her creative horizon. Her strength is neither one-dimensionality nor uninspired amusement on content-free facades. And, for the viewer, as well, an equal and corresponding absence of small-mindedness is a must for being able to perceive her discourse with each landscape.

Siegemund´s images breathe calm – something we forget all too often. This, however is not a serenity resulting from nothingness. When encountering this serenity, it is worthwhile to not just view it briefly and go on one´s way, but rather to surrender yourself to the pause: at this point, our thoughts begin to flow, and that which lies behind the viewer´s eye pours forth. In the hand of the artist and, ultimately, in the mind of the viewer, simple lines set vertically to the river – which almost metaphorically combine height and depth – transform themselves into the omnipotent flowing of water, just as the Elster, Pleiße and Spree but also the Ganges, Wolga and Missouri show us. We can essentially let ourselves fall into the heights and, in doing so we experience – once again paradoxically – a falling down into the depths. In Siegemund´s images, forms swirl wildly around each other, mirror their own reflections and move on past the terminus they had just arrived at. The alienation in terms of color is surprisingly beneficial to the authenticity of the events that have occurred – as if, out of the use of Heisenberg´s uncertainty principle, an artistic accuracy was achieved that carried with it a bit of magic.

In this diaries, Max Frisch skilfully distinguishes between the look of an expert – a look that simply classifies and files what is being observed into a catalogue of already seen objects – and the look of a creator, who – regardless of his or her métier – is able to perceive a true coming-into-existence because he is familiar with >the empty paper<. May every visitor feel inspired to carefully examine the coming-into-existence of these images.

Frank Kasch -Kulturwissenschaftler-
Catalogue -Land-
2010, Kunstallianz1 Berlin, Allianz Deutschland AG