Malte Bartsch, Hannah Sophie Dunkelberg, Martin Groß, Sarah Lehnerer, Valeria Schneider, Felix Leon Westner
Von Wolken und anderen Lügen
11 July – 31 August 2024
Opening: Thursday, 11 July, 5 – 8pm
Performance: Felix Leon Westner, Friday, 30 August, 7pm

“It‘s going to be difficult because nobody really knows who it is telling it, if I am I or what actually occurred or what I’m seeing.”1

And yet, it should not be left untried, the act of telling. The narrator, of whom we cannot be sure who it is, and of whom the narrator themselves is not sure who they are either2 (it is reasonable to assume that this could also sometimes be the case with the narrators mentioned below3), prefers to look at the clouds, as they form an image for them in which their gaze can get lost and their imagination can run free. But the narrator is aware of the fact that what arises from this imagination does not necessarily correspond to the truth. This does not mean that it is a lie. More so, it is the “now” that is referred to as a lie, simply because it is always gone in an instant, because it passes by like the cloud in the sky. The act of seeing said “now” is also referred to by the narrator as dishonesty, because it – supposedly – takes us the furthest away from ourselves. This is probably why it is undefinable who is doing the telling – or seeing. But don’t get it wrong: these “unreal fabrications” don’t have to be bad at all, in contrast to the lie.

One thing at least is clear: this is not about depicting reality as it is, as it presents itself, purely externally (like the “precious fireworks”)4.

It is more about the growing independence of thought, which develops when the act of seeing gets hung up on something. As if there were a thread... Then there is nothing left to do but to “observe and wait, observe and...” (PENDING)5 This discourse – all of a sudden – reminds me of Beckett‘s “Waiting for Godot”, in which Estragon calls out “Inspiring prospects!” at one point during the endless wait.

It would be wrong, however, to assume that this would have any effect. The prospects are inspiring only in the sense that there is no mention of clouds gathering. Nevertheless, even in Beckett's work, characters are constantly staring into the sky, which is “pale and luminous” (or blue with dream-like tumours – not only at night)6, a “veil of gentleness and peace”.7

But does this veil – or the blue? – perhaps indicate that there is a “lie” in the air here, too, a construct of fantasy or whatever Godot actually is. This causes an unpleasant feeling (not bad, but not nice either)8. The solution would be the appearance of Godot, as redemption in Julio Cortázar‘s short story “Blow-Up” would be — yes, what would that actually be? (If you look, you might find it in – or between – the countless eyes.)9

This one moment that – unfortunately – hangs by a thread10 and, because it is only a fraction of a second, cannot be perceived and therefore cannot be described or depicted? (Ask Sarah Lehnerer.)11 And then to magnify it to such an extent, to blow it up? (Look at Sarah Lehnerer.) At the end, with Cortázar as with Beckett, it is the same as at the beginning: “seeing clouds” or “waiting and not leaving”. What are we waiting for? Let‘s go and look at the clouds.

“Now there’s a big white cloud, as on all these days, all this untenable time. What remains to be said is always a cloud.”12

Lisa Schütz
Translation by Hagen Hamm


1 Julio Cortázar: Blow-Up, in: End of the game, and other stories, New York : Pantheon Books, 1967, 1963. This short story served as the base of Michelangelo Antonioni‘s film “Blow Up” from 1966.

2 Roberto Michel, Frenchman of Chilean descent, translator and amateur photographer in his spare time; it remains unclear whether the first and third person narrators, who constantly alternate, are the same.

3 Malte Bartsch, Hannah Sophie Dunkelberg, Martin Groß, Sarah Lehnerer, Valeria Schneider and Felix Leon Westner, artists

4 Malte Bartsch, Machina di fuco artificiale, 2024, Aluminum, 145 x 41 x 35,5 cm

5 Martin Groß, Pending, 2024, Oil-stick on paper, 196 x 160 cm

6 Hannah Sophie Dunkelberg, Lierre, en rêve, 2022, Polystyrene, aluminium frame, 101 x 151 cm

7 Samuel Beckett: Waiting for Godot

8 Felix Leon Westner, I HAVE A BAD FEELING, 2024, Acrylic and spray paint on canvas, 52 x 52 cm

9 Valeria Schneider, OCEAN EYES, 2024, Colored pencil on paper, 38 x 29,7 cm

10 Cortázar: Blow-Up

11 Sarah Lehnerer, 13.05.24, 2024, Print frottage, ink on soft tissue, 260 x 210 cm

12 Cortázar: Blow-Up