Stefan Thiel


The term excess is a fitting one for the artistic praxis of Stefan Thiel. But this excess is also always expressed paradoxically—as a state that can hardly be communicated, let alone attained by an observer. For instance, Thiel, born in 1965, once translated hard-core pornographic stories into Braille and sealed them under glass, so that the surface of the paper was visible but its contents inaccessible, even to the blind. All debauchery remained hidden in the abstract scoring on its surface. Thiel subsequently used this embossing method to render the Marquis de Sade’s 120 Days of Sodom in Braille; there were twenty- five volumes in all.

After spending four years on the Sade project, it became clear to Thiel that this hermeticism had to take a different visual form. Since then, he has worked with silhouettes, which, as in this exhibition, titled “Grünau,” can be up to six and a half feet

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