Virgil de Voldère Gallery / SlingShot Project

$$ik_section$$Content$$Hygiene and taboo have always been very central in Markus Hansen’s work. He began working with dirt when he was making chromed objects, scatological, phallic tools that would reflect the users gaze whilst he was using them. He began to observe the traces left by the passage of time in the dirt in his studio. At first he would use rubber stamps to make images in the dirt. Then he began to make stencils of Christ’s loincloth from renaissance paintings, Durer, Mantegna etc. at the moment of crucifixion that deliberately expose Christ's genitalia as an affirmation of his kinship with the human condition. The faint traces of the muted non-material, the dirt, echoed the restoration to visibility of a subject that had been repressed and censored for centuries. (cf. Leo Steinberg, The sexuality of Christ in Renaissance painting and in Modern oblivion) The image of the curtain dates back to a photograph from the ‘Phantom’ series, a body of photographs taken over ten years in Germany, in his Grandmother’s house, and in Baden-Baden, the two places where he spent his early childhood. The curtain fascinated him when he was a small child and he was convinced hid the family secrets. Images are revealed on the glass through a combination of his “own dirt” with silkscreen and varnish. Each piece is unique, done from an original picture. The piece presented is one descendant of that emblematic serie. For the artist, the curtain pieces “had come to represent the veil of the unspoken and the unsaid that had haunted our family since the war”. They also bear the underlying notion that German culture has been “polluted” by the Nazi era. A primary topic for Hansen is his critical thinking about German post war history and the social, political and emotional implications of the unspoken traumas passed on from generation to generation. Through the lense of his upbringing and family background, the work weaves together personal anecdote and reflections on contemporary society. They are ‘compromised’ images, where the positive and the negative are reduced to the same value, where visibility is achieved by the use of a non material. There is a sense of disintegration, a floating between the recognizable and the unrecognizable, the contradiction of a material immateriality. Like the Durer pillows series or the polluted sky series, they are attempts to ressucitate, to open up new spaces, and break out of the German historical impasse. Technical description for the making of a picture using my own dirt. The photographic image is worked and reworked on the computer so as to find the point of equilibrium between visible and invisible for when the dirt is finally applied. The reworked image is then transferred to a silkscreen. The image is printed with transparent ultra-violet proof ink onto glass. At this point I am working blind, I know more by touching the test prints with my fingers than by looking at them. Once I have what appears to be a faultless print, I take dust I have gathered and create a cloud of the finest particles and let them slowly settle onto the image. I then blow across the image so as to reveal it. The ink and dust are dried and fixed in an ultra-violet oven. Each piece is unique and there is only one edition of each image. $$ik_section$$Summary$$Drawing of a curtain in my own dirt

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