We find ourselves in a room surrounded by a collection of digital and analog things, surrounded by living and dead matter. How we got here, we know, but how do we move forward? The exhibition Things Behind Things presents new sculptural works by Marten Schech in an interplay and in juxtaposition with recent photographs by Ralf Peters. This artistic dialogue confronts us with previously unnoticed things that now come into focus.
We find ourselves in an exhibition space. Around us we see pictures on the walls and objects on the floor. We want to understand the connections, to perceive a concept, to grasp the things behind these things. But what if they cannot be seen directly? Are we then content with the things on the surface? And where does the dividing line run at all?
Marten Schech collects and shapes things. The intensive examination of materials like wood, aluminium or plastic characterizes his artistic work. At the interface between architecture and sculpture, Schech on the one hand poses formal questions about materials extracted from their common context. On the other hand, questions of content arise, for example, about the boundaries between nature, the human world and the animal world. Pieces of furniture are given shaped, sometimes ghostly-looking faces or antlers.
Schech reawakens the hitherto dormant souls of the objects and materials he works on and with, allowing subliminal things to emerge. These processes of enlivenment sometimes come into effect in curious, alienating forms and colors. For example, the 'Me Chair' literally embodies the more figurative nature of the artist's current work as his effigy, while the 'Gazelle Houses' made of pastel-colored plastic document the evolution of his earlier preoccupation with half-timbered structures. Finally, Schech captures the flow of time in a visually striking way with 'Drip Table', another one of his 'Furniture Things‘.
Marten Schech (1983 in Halle/Saale) lives and works in Berlin and Dresden. In 2015 he completed his studies with Prof. Wilhelm Mundt and has since been able to realise numerous institutional solo and group exhibitions. Ralf Peters' photographs always carry the reminiscence of a sculptural approach, that is concerned with the haptic qualities of the motifs placed in the picture. The photographic image and the seemingly more realistic world of things flow seamlessly into one another. Not, however, without triggering the questioning of reality and its perception in the viewer. His latest works are spatial explorations that no longer move only on a compositional, artistic level between analog and digital elements, but also bear witness to this bridging on a visual level. Whether the works 'Digital Love' or 'Krypto' thus act as windows providing a view out of our space into the 'real' environment or into a digital world lies, like the separation of the two, in the eye of the beholder.
As the title of the work 'IN / OUT' suggests, a view outward is also meant to initiate a look inward. Peters constantly challenges this change of focus with implied transparency and reflections. In looking at his photographs, we see things behind things that are not always perceptible to us.
Ralf Peters' (1960 in Lüneburg) photographic works have been featured in a number of solo and group shows at renowned institutions in Germany and abroad. The artist is represented by galleries in Berlin, Zurich, Miami, Trieste and Frankfurt.
The artistic positions of Marten Schech and Ralf Peters meet as interrogations of how we deal with spaces and our environment. Things Behind Things makes us aware of our individual role in the midst of things, that means the small as well as the big ones, the more obvious as well as the hardly recognizable ones. We find ourselves in a room filled with things and are given the opportunity to explore the complex webs behind each one.