Series of Works
The series of Luxus pictures comprises seven renderings depicting a place in the Berlin district of Prenzlauer Berg that the artist was immensely fond of: Bar Luxus.
In each picture we see the bar from inside, complete with counter, stools, floor-length windows, air conditioning, patterned tiles and a floor featuring chessboard patterning. The night scene Luxus I is the sole work in the series in a portrait format. A fluorescent neon tube shaped into the name of the bar appears back to front in the obliquely positioned mirrored section in the background, which also reflects the tiled bar area, counter and corridor. In the foreground, the counter, along with bottles of alcoholic spirits, juts out from the left-hand side into the visual space. The choice of portrait orientation reinforces the impression that the bar scene is a photographic portrait print.
The remaining six Luxus II pictures in the series, in contrast, have all been created from the same static perspective. The countertop with bar stools and shelves for the bottles of spirits is shown first on the right-hand side (Luxus II #2), then on the left (Luxus II #5), and then with the bar area completely empty (Luxus II #4). In a further scenario, the stools are only more or less visible, for some of them are blurred or on the verge of disappearing, distributed around the entire room (Luxus II and Luxus II #3). In terms of their seriality and movement, the series of Luxus II pictures is extremely similar to the moving film image; moreover it has the appearance of a double-exposed sequence because it somehow fails to fit together and defies human logic. “Elements appear and disappear, here the whole room turns around, there it is empty or fuzzy. In one picture, parts of the room are bleached out like an afterimage, a mark burned on the retina from the sun?”,1 as the artist put it.
There are those moments when you don’t get any further with the logic and learned knowledge that also structures and controls our vision, where “the world in our head is dissolved into a horizontal uncertainty, and the Luxus II sequence is precisely about these moments.”2
1, 2 Cited in Weyermann, Maja: Text from the artistic estate, 2002.