Markus Hansen — Each Man Kills the Things he Loves
Each Man Kills the Things he Loves
Past: October 25 → December 22, 2012
Disappearance, and therefore the real, are at the heart of the reflections orchestrated by Markus Hansen. As are our cherished others, those with whom we make the connections that help to constitute the fiction of our lives. But nothing seems to stop the ghosts and nightmares that appear continuously like breaths upon the blackboards of our imaginations. These visions, however they frighten us, are nothing less than the very construction of our being: our unconscious nourishing itself just to disappear again upon waking. Markus Hansen gives these visions shape with his Blackpaintings, life-sized Rorschach tests being written and erased on the blackboards, rendering us students of our own lives.
In the background, of course, is a very real and undeniable history giving us the opportunity to make a commitment to living. Hovering like watermarks are the demons of Germany’s past, upheaving people’s very beings from yesterday through today. But isn’t history ultimately a folklore? To be taken or left or even taken to the point of tragedy ? (Les Rideaux de Poussières d’atelier/ The Dusty Curtains Workshop). Is it just a fantasy of the imagination that gives substance to a Nation, that grand Fable on which we can hang the glorified iconography of anyplace? (Les Poussieres paintings de paysages/ The Dust Landscape Paintings).
What remains is the relationship to the other. Being seen by the other acts as a validation of our own existence. Just as we look on the other, scrutinizing him, breathing him in like an animal would, hoping in vain to catch ourselves. Tell me who I am, because I can’t tell. And so the links appear: the relations, the sympathies that serve as incessant reflections, allowing us an understanding of this thing we call life (Les Doubles-Portraits/ The Double-Portraits). The mirror of Narcissus is useless to us because what we can’t stand about reality is its lack of duplicity (of a Double, as Clément Rosset1 would have said). And so life goes on, crashing into and battering the real, which is to say: the only. A person’s life is nothing more than a strategy for trying to escape this absence of choice. To create a nation as a politician, create a family as a citizen, or create works as an artist is to sublimate, fantasize, or transfigure an all-too-real reality within which we seek distractions.
Markus Hansen, refusing to simply entertain, lifts the veil from his duplicities, names the secret and breaks the reflections of all these vain hopes by exposing the false values behind them.
Ingrid Caven guides us in singing “Schwarzer Wald meiner Träume” (sculpture Each Man Kills the Thing he Loves), an ambivalent song about the meaning of the ‘self’ and the ‘other’.
Each man who thinks, sees, and moves, kills the thing he loves2 and the artist remains the great revealer, removing the wool from our eyes and tearing apart the purgatory that blinds us and separates us from the real.
E. M. 2012
1 Clément Rosset, Le réel et son double/ The Real and its Double
2 Oscar Wilde, La Ballade de la geôle de Reading/ The Ballad of Reading Gaol In Italics, works that mark the path of M.Hansen
Opening Thursday, October 25, 2012 at 6 PM