cologne

View of “Christian Freudenberger,” 2017. From left to right: o.T. (tic 2, doppelt) (Untitled [Tic 2, Double]), 2017; o.T (tic), 2017; o.T. (leer, tic 3) (Untitled [Empty, Tic 3]), 2017. Photo: Simon Vogel.

Christian Freudenberger

DREI

View of “Christian Freudenberger,” 2017. From left to right: o.T. (tic 2, doppelt) (Untitled [Tic 2, Double]), 2017; o.T (tic), 2017; o.T. (leer, tic 3) (Untitled [Empty, Tic 3]), 2017. Photo: Simon Vogel.

In his recent exhibition “‘tic,’” Christian Freudenberger presented three paintings, all dated 2017 and Untitled, with differing parenthetical subtitles containing the French word that also named the show as a whole. Denoting, as in English, a nervous twitch or tremor caused by involuntary muscle contractions, the term may bring to mind a syndrome that disrupts everyday activities; the power of the unconscious, which eludes deliberate control; or any anomaly that calls normality into question. The titles are programmatic, because these three dimensions—the disruption of ordinary perception, the role of the unconscious in such rupture, and the problem of what is thought of as normal and in which contexts—are central preoccupations in Freudenberger’s art.

Freudenberger already probed these themes in an earlier series, “Alternative Objekte,” 2010–12—pictures based on

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