Hinrich Weidemann

Galerie Isabella Kacprzak

In this exhibition of drawings and india ink paintings, Hinrich Weidemann gains a formal and reflexive subtlety by joining the serial and the repetitive, the stringently formal installation of uniform elements in space and the immanence and autonomy of each individual work. Covering three freestanding inner walls with four rows of ten drawings each, the 119 drawings in large white frames, hung at close intervals, constitute a potentially endless grid, which, as a formal pattern, subdivides the wall into identical units and produces a minimalistic order. By leaving one place empty, the artist further emphasizes the work’s formal organization, and heightens the viewer’s awareness of its intrinsic value. At the same time, however, the individual drawings make up a dense network of correlations, an interplay of similarities and differences, connections and dislocations. These drawings reveal the workings of the most disparate systems of perceptions, playing with levels of reading and ambiguities of optical interpretation.

Weidemann distributes his drawings in a complex, multivalent field, toying with the anthropological and historical schematics of perception. The works surround an unfathomable center of vision—an invisible and absent center, a zero point of visibility, a fleeting and nonpresent origin of visibility. This zone of the ambivalent stretches between the empty, dazzling, and pure zero (which both conceals and reveals a rustling or murmuring of the visible, a pure, differential potentiality: an emptiness saturated with all historically conceivable visibilities) and the various realms of established schemata of interpretation or systems of optical identification. This zone between the dazzling zero of visibility and the recognizable, although not visible, systems of perception is the realm of the differential surface, which Weidemann’s drawings investigate. Here, the visible is experienced as a disorderly plethora of systems of perceptions; the visible disintegrates into different, categorically separate areas. The viewer is not even certain whether there is an overriding unity.

Comparable multivalent readings are brought forth in a different way by the 11 large, narrow india-ink paintings on the four outer walls. Each picture has five vertical “brush strokes” that have no external interrelationship, resulting in a formal structure of repetition both on the level of the painting and on the level of the overall exhibition. We cannot say for sure whether it is the individual brush stroke, or the individual painting with its five brush strokes, or the arrangement of the 11 paintings that constitutes the unity of the artwork; the issue remains moot. At the same time, the character of individual brush strokes varies tremendously: the path, the route of the brush is pushed to the utmost limit of the stroke, the limit that decomposes the unity of the stroke, producing pluralities of brightness and color, of direction, movement, and rupture. A game of emerging and vanishing prevents the ink strokes from rigidifying into optical unities. They reveal a developmental process that can be experienced only as change, irresolution, and multivalence.

Johannes Meinhardt

Translated from the German by Joachim Neugroschel.