Immanuel Birkert – The Ash And The Clay
If one regards the linguistic and literary medium as an essential element of the artistic activity of Immanuel Birkert, I think of „Il fuoco“ – „The Fire“ by Gabriele d‘Annunzio. The main actor in this novel, published in 1900, is the young genius poet Stelio Effrena, whose name has a clear meaning: „ex frenis“ – from the Latin „without brakes“. In public digressions he explains his whole philosophical theory about art and the creative process. In his opinion, art is only sublime when it imitates ancient art. From a stylistic and creative point of view, fire also brings with it tension: it has the effect of a more-or-less veiled eroticism. On the one hand, the interaction with imaginary fire becomes aesthetic, but on the other hand decadent and threatening. These feelings become sources from which the imagination of the artist nourishes itself. It seems as though he searches for secluded and fantastic places, which hide psychological unrest behind an apparent solidity. These values and contents can be transferred to the constructive world of Immanuel Birkert. He forms a style of action that translates these concepts into a new language of forms. He seeks the tragic images that reveal themselves in the dialectic between art and love – and is moved by the intoxication of an aesthetic tension, that takes shape in cool matter after firing. With quivering euphoria he describes inner and outer emotional states, which become torn and dynamic forms. It seems that Immanuel Birkert moves into a dream dimension, where he portrays experiences of passion until he achieves a bubbly synthesis that finds its peace in a muzzle of twisted shapes and stone bodies.
Text by Domenico de Chirico
Photography: Ivan Murzin
At Johanne-Space Städelschule
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