DAG & Dirk Krecker
On the 20th of May 2022, STUDIOSPACE Lange Strasse 31 presented works by DAG and Dirk Krecker.
HAAR DROCK KAFFEE
In their works, DAG and Dirk Krecker use codes that refer to the comprehension of the future. Their strategies diverge between reactualizing and redefining content-related, formal, material, medial, and formal references in relation to the variability of temporal perspectives and the modes of interpretation associated with them.
DAG (Dag Przybilla) studied at the Humboldt University and the Weißensee School of Art and runs the exhibition project GLUE.
Dirk Krecker studied at HFG Offenbach, and Städelschule Frankfurt am Main, and was master student of Thomas Bayrle.
Die Vermessung der Welt und das Wagnis des Abenteuers
DAG & Dirk Krecker
von Angelica Horn
Under the title "HAAR DROCK KAFFEE", the exhibition juxtaposes in one evening the presentations of two men who have already been involved with each other in their artistic lives and who have both dealt and continue to deal with the subject of grids and the coding of surfaces and realities - DAG (Dag Przybilla), for example, with his paintings, with wall works in nightclubs, with designed table tennis rackets, Dirk Krecker, for example, with typewriter paintings, acetone frottages and sound/video installations. There is something like a kindred spirit, but with different intentions: on the one hand the light irony of subversion, on the other the unmistakability of a solitary assertion.
DAG is now showing five pictures (n.d., 50 x 50 cm, mixed media on canvas, 2022) on a wall drawing by his own hand, which already reveals a principle, namely the grid into which other forms are drawn, geometrically themselves, playful, alien and at the same time belonging together at all times. Everything takes place on one level. The pictures are also on the same layer, even the isolated one on the short piece of wall around the corner. The layer is the coding of the grid, in the individual picture as well as on the wall. The grid is the framework. It is the square, as we know it, for example, from the paper of arithmetic boxes, which can in principle be multiplied into infinity, whereby the edge of one box forms the edge of the next box, or where such a grid is created by drawing vertical and horizontal lines at regular intervals. The code of the grid is itself double-coded. All kinds of things can be entered into the grid of the arithmetic box, for serious purposes or for amusing play. In the grid of the wall drawing, which is kept in different shades of color and shows slight deviations from the strict form, oblique lines, circles, and even non-strict geometric shapes are inserted. The design of the individual pictures also follows this principle, with the addition of coloring and overpainting and overdrawings of what has been painted.
On a turquoise-red or a dark blue-white (the colors are approximate) picture, there are horizontal stripes of "codes" - "messages" whose content we are unable to decipher. The stripes seem to be movable and the viewer's imagination makes this possible. On closer inspection, the individual boxes become more important in their loving treatment, and the impression is created that it must be fun to work as it is fun to look at. In other pictures, the underlying grid is transformed and recoded differently. The reinforcement of the vertical-horizontal system is provided with different colors of red and blue and green, for example, so that something cloud-like results or patterns of rectangles of a predominant color appear. In the free-hanging picture, the playful character is most clearly emphasized - here it is about the joy of the individual boxes, of the colourfulness in the free overall arrangement.
The coding remains the basis in each case, but it is also undermined in its use and application by the principle of the painterly and colorful, which as such knows no coding, but ultimately always eludes it. Even if the grid is very simple, there seems to be no limit to the variations.
On the other side of this picture installation by DAG is an installation by Dirk Krecker. On a wide strip, a kind of panel, larger square images are mounted next to each other, the whole thing dark with glowing lights and colors. It's spacy here, spacy and exciting, perhaps even arousing. The images show the pixel structure (coding) of the screen. It is about outer space and the human presence in it, about flying objects and space travel. Two areas are kept purely black, creating a rhythm and emphasis. The band of images runs across the corner towards the passageway and DAG's pictures.
The images may be reminiscent of science fiction films, which work with a high concentration and intensity of visual stimuli and emotional qualities. The coding is one of isolating the individual objects, bodies, figures from their surroundings, from the context in which they appear, or also the aesthetics of fluid transition, of fusion. Here the object is kept calmer and is thus consciously brought into view. There is a kind of neutrality towards these artificial worlds - or are they real ones?
Oben drüber hängt eine Reihe kleinerer Collagen, gleichsam altmodisch im Vergleich zu den Bildschirmabbildungen unten, mit Material aus alten Büchern, wie der Künstler erzählt. Noch deutlicher geht es hier um Inhalte, ohne dass diese eindeutig festgestellt oder in eine eindeutig feststellbare Form zu bringen wären. Wie es das Wesen der Collage ist, sind verschiedene Bedeutungsbezüge der kombinierten Dinge und Materialien möglich. Wie in der anderen Arbeit ist das ästhetische Prinzip dasjenige der Separation und der Kontinuierlichkeit des Bildes.
For example, we see four spacemen in front of a starry sky, one person with a colored face, the others in black and white. Or we see four floating soldiers in a cosmic space with two images of a fire or explosion in an earthly landscape under the quarter of a planet with a kind of red sun on the edge. No stories are told, but references to meaning are made possible or recorded. The fact that no stories are told makes the picture an object of contemplation and an object of contemplation of its content or contents.
The conquest of space and the real presence of people is no longer a fictional game, it has become reality, right up to tourist excursions. Artificial cities and human settlements in space are being imagined. Wars in and from space too. This invites contemplation: about man's striving for conquest, its limits, its humanity. The first space travelers reported on the wonder of the earth and its fragility. Dirk Krecker's collages demonstrate the theme of vastness and boundaries, of violence and the human face, of wonder and incomprehensibility, of technology and life, of adventure and human risk-taking.
Both artistic attitudes enable a specific updating of our living environments - be it the surveying, standardization and beautification of the world, or man's striving for knowledge, conquest and possession. Early globes marked the earth with lines of longitude and latitude, the world was measured for land and sea charts, architecture is based on horizontal and vertical lines, facades, buildings and street paving are gridded, there are many Din standards. Mountain peaks, unknown landscapes, the vastness of the sea and outer space, the depths of the earth and the oceans have been and are being conquered and explored for economic, military and scientific interests. From space, the earth continues to be measured and observed down to the millimeter. In the system of coding, the code is the superordinate system. The code itself consists of coding, individualization and de-individualization, the creation and destruction of identity, domination and subordination. Theories and philosophies try to grasp this. Politics and societies work with these structures. The ambivalences of reality become apparent through such actualizations of the artistic - in art they are brought to a balance, but not in reality.
© Angelica Horn, Frankfurt am Main 2022
Kindly supported by Kulturamt Frankfurt.