Photo: Katja Illner
The works of Florian Neufeldt (born 1976) and Matthias Ströckel (born 1986) testify to human inquisitiveness and the need to question and comprehend the things surrounding him by means of various measurement strategies, both spatial and temporal. In the process, even perception itself is called into question and the construction of reality is a central component of each respective work. The exhibition’s title references the postulation posed by the ancient Greek mathematician Euclid in his Elements – a systemisation of and a treatise dealing with mathematical, astronomical and artistic phenomena that is still highly significant today for our understanding of mathematics, the cosmos and music. It serves here as a concept that is difficult to grasp and yet still fascinating, one which “only” functions in the mind and points to the fantastic potential of mathematical as well as physical paradoxes. It generates incomprehension on the one hand, but it also occasions us to ponder and to reason further to the extent that is references our boundaries (of measurement) and simultaneously opens up a (mental) space that lays beyond the real and permits new systems. This makes up the link to the double exhibition of works by Florian Neufeldt and Matthias Ströckel.
Florian Neufeldt measures the exhibition space by developing a new piece for the seitenlichtsaal in which a drill – invisibly – drives along behind a wall, measuring it and boring holes in it at irregular intervals. However, because the drill bit always only appears for such a short time that it usually goes unnoticed by the viewer, only the sound and the hole remain, one hole next to the other, arbitrarily bored into the wall. What is measured and systematised here? Not knowing what is going “behind” creates confusion, makes one curious and generates an imaginary space behind the constantly changing, perforated picture space that is filled with noise by the drill and – depending on the association – personifies something threatening, mysterious, intrinsic. At the same time, the rhythm of the technical repetition generates recognition and familiarity with regard to the mysterious “static noise.”
Matthias Ströckel’s conceptually oriented objects, photographs, prints and drawings revolve around spatial and temporal measurement strategies of the world by visualising it in different ways, simultaneously questioning its meaning and purpose. Their appeal derives from a minimalist artistic positing in which Ströckel seems to assume the role of the artist-scientist. In the process, he employs philosophical as well as art historical theories and questions the boundaries of scientific exactitude and individual perception without forgetting the aesthetic potential – the aura – of the individual object or becoming didactic. He documents physical processes (Untitled, three photographs, 2012) or presents them as an immediate experience in the exhibition space (Frame of Reference, 2011). In doing so, Ströckel broaches the theme of human perception and observation as well as the codification of time and space, whereby the focus is placed on cartographic systems (Map of Worlds, 2011), the rhythmisation of time (Specific Tolerance, 2012) and the unforeseen material changes within a predetermined temporal process.
The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue published by the Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König, Cologne. Produced in collaboration with the artists, it features numerous illustrations and texts by Gregor Jansen (director of the Kunsthalle Düsseldorf) and Kathrin Barutzki (curator of the exhibition). Price: 4 Euros.