Hey Dennis, I’m not you. I am another Dennis Buck.
It’s a classic image cropped into a square on the Instagram feed since the ideal size for square posts is a 1:1 aspect ratio. The colors work harmoniously, dennisbuck3241’s dark purple top seems to deliberately respond to the pastel lavender light of the surroundings. The exhibition poster fits into the space of colorful, mirror-foiled surfaces, sculptural silicone on stretcher frames and caricature-like pencil drawings. The artist of the exhibition, Dennis Buck, seems to be recognizable on and in all the works. Cars, facial features, conversations. But something seems different – the face in this portrait is not Dennis Buck’s.
How you like me know?
The presentation of Dennis Buck’s new works provides a variety of answers to this. For his solo presentation at Shore Gallery, the artist creates a site-specific installation that is also a meticulous research. The artist’s initials and his references to hobbies, relatives and places he has traveled to reflect the expectation of his own supposedly narcissistic identity as an artist. Contrary to popular belief, this time Buck does not speak about himself once in his work, but about all the other Dennis Bucks in the world who share the name with him.
Always wanting to enroll in the work.
Even in his early work, the artist was often accused of latent narcissism: it was the permanent repetition of his name, initials, telephone number or address that allowed his works to refer directly and unconcealed to the concept of the artist-subject. At the same time, Buck repeatedly insinuates that the viewer is egocentric by using reflective foil. You could see yourself glowing in the middle of the letters depending on how the light changed.
Exploring what is there.
Buck’s art tends to refer to the disappearing discrepancy between art and life, which is why an examination of himself and his identity as an artist must always be inherent in his work. In his new series, he creates a homage to iconic pictorial representation, to the perpetual omnipresence of the subject in painting. The name Dennis Buck, the artist Dennis Buck, everything that should stand for him, all of this is completely dissolved by the “subject” Dennis Buck.
There are no narcissists, you’re just all boring.
In the end, everything is somehow connected, all the interwoven madness of self-determination is connected in space to form an image. The reference becomes a reflection on one’s own perception and that of others, on (artist) identity and its formation, on presentation and representation. From the narcissism of the other, one’s own is born again: the life of what is actually a stranger becomes one’s own exhibition. Dennis Buck becomes Dennis Buck.