essen

Hans Hemmert

Museum Folkwang

Rubber has remained largely undiscovered as a medium in contemporary art. When it has been employed, it has been associated with the fetishization of the body. Artists like Kiki Smith and Marc Quinn have used the material rather conventionally to make body casts, exploring issues of health, loss of aura, and the transience of the individual. Berlin-based artist Hans Hemmert works with rubber much more playfully, without, however, renouncing the space of reflection the medium potentially affords. While Hemmert, too, emphasizes the material’s fetishistic quality, his approach achieves more distance from than proximity to the object of desire. In sculptures, videos, and photographs, he uses bright yellow latex as a wrapping under which all contours disappear, often leaving only an abstract, egglike shape.

In his exhibition in Essen, one was greeted in the entrance hall by a floor-to-ceiling

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