Extreme Rational Operating System @ ASPN Leipzig


Katja Aufleger, Irma Blumstock, Tim Heide, belit sağ, Andrzej Steinbach


Installations views: Stefan Fisher

ASPN Leipzig, 22.06.18 – 27.07.18

“We have delegated the knowledge of the world to devices that, although they have no perception, neither feel nor sense, yet can count and measure.”
Thomas Palzer in: “Feeling truths – about hunches, assumptions and flair” for Deutschlandfunk 2018. Between us the camera. In it, seeing and being seen meet, it is a hinge of perspectives.
In the exhibition “Extreme Rational Operating System” five artists show works that focus on the perspectives of perception and displaying. A camera looks different than a human eye. It picks out a section, makes it static, it rationalizes and reduces reality. At the moment of photography or filming, the camera is always present as an apparatus directed at something, not just to look at it, but to ban it, preserve it, and shrine it. The camera image shows (and defines) exactly one surface, one front side – all other possible views are excluded.
In the debate about current media images, the question appears, what they show and on the other hand conceal, what power the regime of gaze has.
The same question can be addressed to any other method of image production. Painting or selfie photos, installative artistic works or an Instagram account: Every definition of a perspective is the appropriation of both the depicted and the adopted point of view. It is precisely these strategies and the authority of perspectives that are called into question by “Extreme Rational Operating System”, not only in the choice of subjects, but consequently also on the formal level of all exhibiting artists. Andrzej Steinbach shows five photographs from his new, extensive work “Der Apparat”. A figure photographs an event that lies outside the image. The suits are similar to those of journalists or snipers, the poses seem to trace a stalking movement. Steinbach’s photographic series encircles the figure, which in turn moves around and onto something. “Being and thinking in my own identity where actually i am not” is the title of the five-part work of canvas and aluminum by Tim Heide. Textile objects that are placed above handrails show their front as well as therir back side and initiate a mental multiplication of possible perspectives. Just as a folding screen that separates space and at the same time provokes the imagination of what it is supposed to conceal. In her film “Gaze” Irma Blumstock questions the direct view between herself as a camerawoman and her opposite. An observation that does not seek to reverse the masculine view of the female object, but rather to thematize proximity and distance in equal measure. The camera works as a fixed point that determines the relationship between her gaze and his body. Forces pushing in divergent directions are shown by the sculptures of the series “SAD BOYS” by Katja Aufleger. Round, organic-looking ceramics, which bear traces of ropes that they once tied together, have burst and show gaping, externally torn wounds. The objects are placed on fragile steel grids that look static and almost like digital room sketches. Under the weight of the ceramics, the grids curve slightly, the balance of power threatening to collapse at any time. belit sağ’s video-artistic practice is rooted in alternative activism and collective work in Ankara and Istanbul. Her three-part video installation “My camera seems to recognize people” deals with the difficulty of handling medially produced images in a neutral and transparent manner. Image production is always shaped by interests; in the context of political or media exploitation, manipulative potentials are developed, which belit sağ works out on the basis of three scenes.