Christian Blau invited me to his studio to take a look at his new work that was created
during „The Great Pandemic“ - in the lockdown.
The first thing that strikes me is a work that inevitably reminds me of Hanne Darboven.
8/5/7…. A tender, a string of numbers. With Darboven, the 0 is the note D, the 1 is an E, etc.
She works with rhythmic lines and overwriting. CB is also a drummer. It is the work „Sign of
the times“, a Prince title. „When a rocket ship explodes and everybody still wants to fly, but
some say a man ain‘t happy unless a man truly dies. Oh why? Time!
But what are the signs of the times?
Now what happens to me is what happens to every educated spectator: the evocation - the
awakening of ideas, the experience through a work of art. However, evocation is also the
summons of a defendant before another, higher court. Now I want to know that the artist also
understands me because of my experience in front of the picture.
However, his answer is as surprising as it is succinct.
CB: „Nah! Sudoku!!!” He explains: “During the cold winter days in the studio, I kept myself
warm with Sudoku. Until it got too stupid.” But CB is smart and knows the codes of art history.
And so he also includes the everyday in his artistic work, what experiences such a poetic greatness.
CB: “A lot of the content is personal and stems from lockdown culture. Nevertheless,
the works can also be read individually by each viewer.”
Another work entitled: „June Moon“ (Juni Mond“).
Many moons on a yellow surface: laughing moons, sad moons, thoughtful moons. A brown
moon. PH: „I don‘t associate this with a National Socialist background, that would be too
easy for me.“ The artist surprises me again. CB: Yes, it‘s that simple! In my older works, I
contemplated, contemplated, contemplated. Formally doing everything right. These works
were created quickly and intuitively....I just hate Nazis!“ PH: „Yes, in the spontaneous act of
painting, bringing a creative force intuitively to the canvas can sometimes have something
liberating.“ Also with these „free“ works, the frames of the pictures are integrated into the
painting process. CB: „This eliminates the „elevation“ of the work of art.“ Here, of course, the
aura of the work of art is ironized. CB likes to play with this stylistic device. He also admonishes
me, because the price tag on the frame, which I‘m just tinkering with, is also the subject
of the „work“.
Now to the work „Bon Voyage“
CB: “This is actually our dinner table - my mother yelling angrily, my brother mentally ill. Get
out of that tight spot.” PH: „The drums, the music a place of liberation - also the painting.
Aren‘t you afraid to reveal too much?“ CB: „No. Many artists probably fear that their work will
be too simple and that the whole structure will collapse without strong „word castles“ as a
protective shield.” The “word jungle” of the intellectual artist community is often as thick as it
is phallic and exclusionary.
That is alien to him. And that‘s good. Or?
Would the works of a Josef Beuys or a Martin Kippenberger have existed without their own
exposure? Hardly likely! CB seems to suspect that too. In a further work, he himself can be
seen as an oversized „art figure“ (“Kunstfigur”), surrounded by the bourgeois narrowness of
his parents‘ home and the longing for music.The work is overwritten with „If I want to“! („Wenn
ich will“) His fine Hamburg style may stand in the way of his unconditional desire. But sometimes
you have to show off your ego (EGO) and ask the others to dance (TWIST).
This is then the EGOTWIST. In these days, in which we have fallen back reduced on ourselves
(EGO), Blau‘s works are therefore very intimate, but they are also individually readable
and conceivable by the viewer. The openness of the work and the communication with the
viewer are very important to the artist, because the TWIST is a couple dance.
Do the EGOTWIST, do the EGOTWIST, do the EGOTWIST, yeah, yeah, yeah!!!
By Pit Hüls
I worked in many areas of music in the 1980s and 1990s.
As a drummer, lyricist and composer, with many tours
at home and abroad. (" Channel 5 "/" Tatärä "/" Deaf Scotsmen " and others)
Therefore music has always been a strong impulse for me.
In 1988, with the help of many friends, I founded the project "Deaf Scotmen".
In 1990 an album was recorded at Okko Bekker´s Audiplex Studio in Hamburg.
The album title was called " EGO TWIST ".
Referring back to this project, I have now started the "Ego Twist" series from 2020.
It is also about music, music titles and texts.
Many titles mean a lot to me,
I have chosen others because of their possible new meaning in today's time reference.
There are also many levels of meaning overlapping here, such as :
Material, image fragments, text and spontaneous painting.
Much of the content is of a personal nature and arises from the new "lockdown culture"
in which we have all fallen back on ourselves.
Nevertheless, the works can of course also be read individually by each viewer.
The openness of the works is very important to me here
The works are all "framed" with simple assembly wood.
The texts and image fragments are here worked over the "frame", so belong to the work.
The frame is often used in the representation of works of art as an enhancement and a sign of high value.
(Many very highly valued works are in museums often even in triple framing:
original with frame / extra framing by the collector / as well as protective framing against theft and destruction; "framed".)
I would like to ironize this form of auratisation with my frames.
Just as once again the seriousness is not diminished by the use of irony,
but real life can only be imagined with both fragments.