[SOMA 1999 – the Appointment]
David Bernet, “Derivate des Raumes”
[Derivatives of Space]
Exhibition leaflet, Kunst und Medienzentrum, Berlin 1999
[Derivatives of Space]
Text: David Bernet, 1999
Cultural history is full of theories and proposed solutions for how space and content can relate to each other “correctly”. The diversity of these suggestions has nothing to do with the fact that they are all wrong, but comes instead from them being temporary, because the solution is always exposed to the litmus test which the observer is subjected to by concrete space.
At the start of this questioning is the void, the interpretation of the third dimension by perspective, the depiction of space. Thus this abstract space is behind all Maja Weyermann’s spatial representations and spatial installations; the void as the vanishing point and meta-level of real space, which we physically perceive in its expansiveness and volume.
This was how the various spatial installations were created between 1994 und 1998. Doppelnaturen [Dual Natures] was an installation in an industrial ruin, a construction involving mirrored black drawings and a pond with horsetails. Semi-open space as a fractured medium for spatially determining a location is the background to the installation Acryl auf Tubolit [Acrylic on Tubolit]: in a shaft-like corner of a building shell still under construction, Weyermann has installed dyed scaffolding poles, which interact through their colouring and placement, creating a two-dimensional optical effect.
Ailleurs, by contrast, consists of an interior space in which fragments of a second space have been built, thereby superimposing the perception of one space over the perception of a second space that has been inserted within – a process that leads to confusion.
transformed object comprises a solid structure in two gallery rooms: like three-dimensional phantoms that have been created from the basic mass of the gallery spaces, two rhombuses seem to sink down through the ceiling into the real existing spaces.
Here too, Weyermann takes the “artificial” body that only exists mentally or as a virtual simulation, and realises it as its physical equivalent, letting the boundary between real and unreal become transparent or fluid.
The most recent pictures generated by Weyermann on the computer are virtual reconstructions of real rooms that – unlike the spatial installations – represent the route from the third dimension to the second: starting from the pictorial surface they invert the subject matter and create the projection of a real space, but one that is hyper-real at second glance.
Soma, for example, appears to be the image of a real space where a photograph of a further space is hanging, reflected by the window front that is opposite and to one side – but actually it is showing the same space in a different state. Hence the mirror becomes a medium for absolute synchronicity of the object and representation, like a floodgate for asynchronies to enter what is synchronous.
The picture is a space, not a depiction, and one that subtly deprives the observer of self-reassurance in space. This is strengthened by the fact that these new pictures manage to do without a spectator’s viewpoint, and thus without perspective. It generates the feeling that “something isn’t right” on the periphery of what is being perceived, that somewhere the parameters of spatial orientation are drifting apart in the corner of one’s eye. Weyermann designs places whose optical reality gradually escapes the observer in order to reveal what is possible in the shadow of the real.
Translation: Nicola Morris