Lois Renner, Das Echo, 2010, Photographic Instalation
The group exhibition's central work is the winged altar "Das Echo" by the Salzburg artist Lois RENNER (*1961) that has to be understood as a reflex to the "Isenheimer Altar" by Matthias Grünewald. RENNER, who is known for his precisely composed and ironic-narrative pictures that often show his studio, melts progressively the borderline between painting and photography in his new series of works. Rooms and objects are designed, painted and overhauled by the painter-sculptor-installation artist-architect-photographer in all dimensions to be adopted by the plain medium, the photography, and finally set into a photographic unique copy from the quality and dimension of a panel painting. With the winged altar "Das Echo" RENNER devotes to a master piece of German painting and Christian art- the dramatic illustrations of the Isenheimer Altar (early 16th century) that tells from death, suffer, salvation and resurrection. The Middle Ages was scourged by two punishments of God - the Black Death and the Holy Fire (ergot toxication). The Hospital Brothers of St. Anthony were seen as the doctors among the monks and were instructed to care for people suffering from the "Holy Fire". To take the edge of this incurable misery, one of the abbots had the idea to ask Matthias Grünewald for a wayside shrine that should uplift the dying persons through seeing the suffering Christ or at least to comfort them because of the connecting disease between them and Christ which is proofed by the skin's galls. The 500-year-old "documentary film" about Christ's way of grief with the chapters: "Annunciation", "Holy Sebastian", "Holy Anthony", "Crucifixion" and "Resurrection" is translated by Lois RENNER into a pictorial language of present times without altering the "vocabulary of shapes". According to Lois RENNER "this is an intimate process between him as an artist and the history of art, with the awareness that pictures have always lied for our "healing".