Underworld Party

Exhibition at the Galerie Kewenig 12 Rooms (Room#12), Brüderstraße 10, Berlin
from 2 to 31 December 2020

Photo: Jeannine Simon

I wanted to throw a party at my studio with the title: "Underworld". It was supposed to take place beneath ultraviolet light, also called black light. I imagined charcoal drawings on paper hanging on the walls, their white spaces gleaming in the dark with an artificial blue glow. The drawings should be copies of the Old Masters, depicting scenes of the underworld from greek mythology. I visualized how the party guests, all dressed in black and white according to the mandatory dress code, wandered around the studio through a fog of cigarette smoke. In itself it would be a trivial club or disco scene, but I liked to think it could bear something mystical nonetheless.

When I started with the first drawing, I was forced to realize that, although I am convinced to have acquired a sufficient amount of experience in my profession, I am still childishly naive. The production of copies true to the original turned out to be so time consuming that the date for the party was postponed into an indefinite future. Also my wish to give a party in the first place slowly decreased. But I continued the work although I felt I was doing something utterly absurd. Why in Gods name would I want to waste my time with some copies? To be nicknamed "Rembrandt" by someone? And would the concept stay preserved if the party was cancelled? I know that a «real professional artist» would leave it up to somebody else to finish this disagreeable job for him so he could tend to more reasonable endeavours.

But while I was working on the copies, a certain joy started to grow inside me about the lack of purpose and sense of this whole venture. Apart from that, I did not want to waive the pleasure: firstly of working with charcoal and secondly of the gradual "entering" into the original which I took as my master copy. Eventually this experience became a descend into the underworld itself—if not as a glamorous party, then still as a kind of conversation with those who do not roam our world anymore.