Foreign Affairs: Clemens Reinecke and Rita Geissler

Rita Geissler
Rita Geissler

In its 19th year, Zygote Press welcomes Clemens Reinecke and Rita Geissler to Cleveland, Ohio for the Ohio Arts Council’s longest running International Artist Residency Exchange.  The Dresden Exchange Program will send Ohio artists, Michael Gill, Editor of the Collective Arts Network and Ellen Price, who is a professor at Miami University to work at the Graffikwerkstatt in Dresden for five weeks as part of this International exchange.

Winterlandschaft, Rita Geissler | Etching
Winterlandschaft, Rita Geissler | Etching

Clemens Reinecke and Rita Geissler’s work will be featured in an exhibition, Foreign Affairs 19, at Zygote Press.  A reception will be held on Saturday, October 18th from 1-3pm, with an informal artist’s talk beginning at 2pm.

Rita Geissler is a member of the Saxon Art Association and has won several awards including the Best of Show at Leipzig  Book Fair.

Geissler, born in Dresden, studied Graphic Arts and Painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Dresden. She has an extensive exhibition record which includes shows at many Saxon Government Presidium, City Gallery Radebeul,  Library of the Dresden State Art Collections, and Carl-Lohse-Gallery Bischofswerda.

STATEMENT: The focus of my work lies in printmaking and most of the time I work with the technique of intaglio. I collect a lot of my ideas outside. All my paintings are painted directly in nature or city. They are all spontaneous impressions. I frequently use my paintings and sketches as templates for my graphic prints.The composition of my artwork is very important to me, especially the reduction to essence. I am trying to reduce in my work to increase the expressivity, to reduce to the essence.

Clemens Reinecke
Clemens Reinecke

Clemens Reinecke was born in Dresden and received his MFA at HfBK Dresden. His extensive exhibition record includes shows at Festspielhaus Hellerau, a solo show at C.Rockefeller Center For The Contemporary Arts, Dresden, Studio Nihil Baxter, Berlin and STORE Contemporary, Dresden.

STATEMENT: My work derives from the situation currently surrounding me, which is currently shaping my artistic work. Contemporary art (and thus also the works of contemporary artists) is in constant motion nowadays through global networking. The transnational mobility of artists and cultural workers plays a central role for cultural diversity and intercultural dialogue. New forms of art education are rehearsed, the number of off spaces and other, more distant models from the established art market in the major cities is higher than ever.

Sketch Pattern, Clemens Reinecke | 2014
Sketch Pattern, Clemens Reinecke | 2014

As an artist you have seemingly free access to all imaginable forms and varieties of disciplines, which move towards each other and enter into dialogue with each other. The period of -isms appears to be over for now. The Internet is on the way to the global universal medium and pushes everywhere between our perception and the world, in the form of smart phones, tablets and soon HMD.

The boundary between the virtual and real world seems to be increasingly blurred in people’s minds. Art does still exist in physical showrooms, but is more an more adapted by an exponentially larger public via a digital interface. The Internet is also a source of inspiration and a publishing medium, a growing number of people are here to become creators, participants and viewers of art. The number of art-related blogs is growing as well as the audience gets more critical educated. As never before, current influences and trends as well as art distant content is transmitted on platforms such as tumblr, pinterest and artstack.

In this case, art can be difficult to distinguish from “non-art” and also to maintain against the ever growing number of “amateurish” posts; Images are produced, manipulated, uploaded, shared and further manipulated. The tools and techniques are easily accessible, “amateurs” are no longer dilettantes. Content of different origin and quality meet in the form of posts, freed from one anothers context and go into a new relationship.

In the course of this digitization, executive dematerialization of things creates a new material approach, in which virtual things are perceived as “real”. It caused legitimate ways of perceiving a work, once the “real” in comparison to the original and then each encounter with the figure of reproduction. The authenticity promise of art is less important. Aware of people’s copy variation, the remix alongside the original is received as a legitimate variant of a work and possibly even preferred.

Starting from this situation, there are several collecting ducts for artistic works today possible from the beginning, bringing divergent versions of the same work. Depending on your distribution channel there are different approaches to the artistic articulation possible: as an original in the exhibition space, or as a photo, being a work of art by itself or being distributed either online or via print. This quasi equality in perception between original work and illustration, the cross-media communication, has the consequence that work mostly go through several metamorphoses and jumps between the media and thus being further developable. Perhaps the self-contained work of art can be continually re-contextualized, the picture becomes an icon of an artistic work. This question also strikes me in my self-understanding as a painter and graphic artist.

What is painting, what is graphic in the days of Photoshop and other variants of digital image creation and manipulation? For several years I have worked in parallel in both analog and digital. Besides pencil, watercolor and acrylic paint, tools like Gaussian Blur, Emboss and Magic Wand and a whole range of relevant iPad apps are just as much a matter of course to the repertoire and significantly shape the use of expressive means and stylistic elements. Furthermore, the shape, the subject of the painting or drawing is softened by modern printing techniques and the affordability and ubiquity of print-ondemand products. The same image can move into completely different shapes and materials and thereby breaks with our habits of reception. The repatriation of digital content into the physical world can in this way unfold an enormous power, the digital is analog, the analog digital. The boundaries dissolve and thus reflect our digital lifestyle. These observations and ideas form the basis of my artistic creativity and the way I currently go with my work.

*Text translated from German to English with Google Translate, so that’s why.

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