We know not through our intellect but through our experience.

(Maurice Merleau-Ponty)

Since the beginning of thought, reason and perception have embodied a profound polemic. Within this debate about the relationship between the senses and rationality, Julius Heinemann’s artistic practice suggests a study of different layers of perception, understood as a key for the relationship between the subject and reality.

Perception is a crucial element of Heinemann’s work, as he proposes a practice that distances us from the occidentalization of knowledge - in which an object is limited to its mere function within the rational discourse – and approximates us to the object and the world through an unmediated experience beyond the boundaries of reason.

As Paul Valéry, who once said that a bad poem is one that vanishes into meaning, Julius Heinemann is not interested in an art work that is caught in linguistic categories, intellectual attributions of meaning and interpretations, but rather privileges the primacy of perception, presence and nowness. The act of seeing and allowing for seemingly random constellations of primary elements such as light, shadow, paint, shape, gesture, trace, space and simply things to interplay and generate a merely subjective ephemeral experience, without giving it a name, becomes vital. Let things just be what they are: things. No further symbolization. What you see, is what you see in that very moment. And what you don’t see might reveal itself next. The exhibition title “Dinge und Undinge (o las formas de las cosas)” – which not by chance incorporates both, German and Spanish speech thus becoming partly a visual element for those who don’t speak both languages - suggests this thin line between the concrete and the abstract, the identifiable and inconceivable: both existing inseparably.

In this exhibition Heinemann proposes an immersive setting, consisting of paintings, objects, spatial interventions and loose, seemingly accidental shapes as a commentary towards the act of seeing as well as the act of the production of an image, while considering the former. How do we absorb light, how do we focus an object, how do the surrounding elements as well as our past and our present integrate into the imagery? And what do we actually see in physical terms? Is this shade part of the painting or an actual shadow falling onto the canvas? And is there a real difference if the perceived result is the same?

Given the fact that we might not be able to elucidate this difference, we might consider Wittgenstein’s advice, accept linguistic limitations and just perceive:

Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent.

(Ludwig Wittgenstein, Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus)