Amplified by the Stillness
Gallery MeetFactory, Ke Sklárně 15, Prague 5
24. November 2017 - 28. January 2018
Artists: Das Numen, A/A (Andreas Greiner & Armin Keplinger), Felix Kiessling, Julian Charrière, Markus Hoffmann
Curator: Eva Riebová
Exhibition Proposal: Jaro Varga
Opening: 24th November 2017 within the Veřejný dům / Public House
The exhibition project “Amplified by the Stillness” will introduce in the Czech Republic a Berlin-based group of artists Das Numen, showing also original works by the group’s individual members whose creation arouses an ever-growing interest at the international art shows. The exhibition is complemented by artworks of artist duo A/A (Andreas Greiner and Armin Keplinger).
In 2011 Das Numen group was founded by four artists: Julian Charrière,Andreas Greiner, Markus Hoffmann and Felix Kiessling, still during their common studies at the Institut für Raumexperimente (Institute for Spatial Experiments) under the leadership of Olafur Eliasson. The group got together based on the artists’ shared interest in intense studies of spatial issues and biological systems. “We see phenomena originating from nature as co-authors. Such a relationship harbors equality and respect, but also dependencies and the necessity to act sustainably. We occupy ourselves with the reception apparatus, with conventions of seeing and meaning. This opens up a broad spectrum of intervention for us, through which Das Numen enters into a discourse with others,”  reads Das Numen portfolio.
The aforementioned co-authorship also becomes a shadow topic of the exhibition project, not only vis-à-vis the natural phenomena, but also concerning co-operation as an artistic method. Paul Feigefield makes a poignant description of the artists’ collective work in his text in Das Numen catalogue: “Das Numen may be called an organization rather than an artist group or collective. While all of them (…) work as artists individually, the way they work as an organization is organizationless, non-hierarchical, yet structured, intuitive. The layerings and networkings in their practice are transparent and opaque at the same time. They bring together organon (tool) and organism in a delicate process of individuation rather than abstraction.”
The art of represented authors defies any simple definition. According to its interpreters, it moves along the boundaries of “magic” and “pragmatic”, being described as “investigation of the space between knowing and not knowing” or “a process where science and art closely coexist”.
The artists consciously become a part of global artist reflection on the still hot Anthropocene debate, promoting the approach when nature, science, culture and art are equal partners. They work with knowledge from individual fields, taking it out of its conventional – environmental, technological or physical – milieus, and translating it into aesthetics of their artworks.
As the exhibition Amplified by the Stillness shows, biological systems, physical laws and chemical processes are being inflected, transformed – their conventional rhythm disturbed by the effort to achieve the state of a contemplative alertness. The artwork Das Numen Meatusof the Das Numen groupdominates the whole exhibition. Blasts of wind captured by wind stations all over the world in real time are made present in the gallery space with the help of horizontally suspended organ pipes, the Internet and an algorithm-driven air apparatus. Felix Kiessling’s Black Anti-Sun, the images created by fixation of radioactive particles on photographic paper by Markus Hoffman, the plants frozen in bloom by Julian Charrière orlevitating drops of water by the A/A duo, these all represent a moment of transient standstill – timelessness in which the “here and now” acquires new meanings.
The minimalist and at the same time poetic aesthetics and calm (Stillness) mentioned in the exhibition’s name, with which the play of the elements, materials and processes is being depicted, brings forward something evasive that keeps defying our effort to describe and grasp the present.
The exhibition is supported by Česko-německý fond budoucnosti.
Das Numen, The Statement
Paul Feigefield, Das Numen: Pragmatic Post-Terminologies, in: Das Numen - Julian Charrière, Andreas Greiner, Markus Hoffmann, Felix Kiessling; the authors; DISTANZ Verlag GmbH, Berlin, 2015, p. 23
Feigefield, 2015, p. 23
Hans-Jörg Rheinberger, „Experimentalordnungen in Wissenschaft und Kunst“, in: ArteFakte: Wissen und Kunst is Wissen. Reflexionen und Praktiken wissenschaftlich-künstlerischer Begenungen, Herman Parzinger, Stefan Aue et al. Bielefeld 2014, p. 315
1/ A/A (Andreas Greiner & Armin Keplinger), A/:::, 2016, detail
2/ Das Numen (from the left: Andreas Greiner, Julian Charrière, Markus Hoffmann, Felix Kiessling)
3/ Julian Charière, Tropisme, photogravure, 2015
4/ Felix Kiessling, Antisonne, 2016