Stephan Mörsch (2004)
Diving Trips. Drawing as Reportage
TAUCHFAHRTEN is a thematically structured exhibition project, which traces the hitherto neglected traces between reportage and traditional positions in drawing. Not only was a focus on the medium of drawing considered increasingly obsolete at art schools, drawing also played at best a subsidiary role in the world of exhibitions too. "Diving Trips" is reflecting on a renewed interest in drawing, though choosing to conduct the argument from the view point of reportage, i.e. the recording of concrete events and situations. The term "reportage" refers here to a broad spectrum of artistic practices applied in partially or wholly inaccessible areas — as it were "Diving Trips" to 'submerged' places, where photography for example is prohibited or restricted (like in prisons, courtrooms and theatres of war) or indeed excursions to imaginary realms, such as dreams and fantasy.
Co-curated by Clemens Krümmel (editor of art magazine "Texte zur Kunst", Berlin) and the illustrator Alexander Roob (Düsseldorf), the exhibition include more than 300 drawings and present a panorama of the various aspects involved in reportage drawing. In addition to autobiographical and/or historical news illustration, itself reminiscent of the narrative structure of the comic strip, the exhibition will also encompass such heterogeneous fields as court or crime scene sketches, social utopian designs, underwater reportage or illustrated reportage from coal mines, drawings by war correspondents, dream protocols and complex organigrams. In so doing reference will be made both to historical and contemporary examples in order to trace the wealth of art-historical and current links to the concept of reportage drawing.
By placing this perspective on the moment of visual reporting, the relationship between drawing and reality automatically becomes apparent. The sensory contact that ties the eye and the drawing utensil to the reality being re-ported allows for fascinating and unusual free artistic spaces different from the means of conventional reportage technique (photography, film, interview). The exhibition juxtaposes examples from outside a narrowly defined artistic canon — such as Erich Dittmann's courtroom drawings, Alfred Schmidt's coal mine sketches or Robert Weaver's filmic protocols — with an artistic genealogy stretching from the drawings of Adolph Menzel, the war reports of John Singer Sargent, via Alberto Giacometti's Paris-portraits to Stephan Mörsch's underwater illustrations and the comic strip narrations of Robert Crumb, Ben Katchor, Joe Sacco and Harvey Pekar.
The exhibition co-ordinated in conjunction with the Kunstverein Hannover where it has been on show from 27th November, 2004 until 30th January of this year. A comprehensive catalogue in both German and English containing essays by Clemens Krümmel, Joachim Rees, Michael Glasmeier, Karin Gludovatz and Alexander Roob accompanies the exhibition (Richter Verlag, EUR 30,-).
Artists in the show: Jessica Abel, David B., Monika Baer/Alice Creischer, Steve Bell, Tatjana Bergius, Peter Blegvad, Bernard Buffet, Erich Dittmann, Alberto Giacometti, Wolfgang Grunwald, He Youzhi, Ben Katchor, Linda Kitson, Max Klinger, Friederike Klotz, Tünde Kovács, Ulli Lust, Ernst Mach, Adolph Menzel, Henri Michaux, Henry Moore, Stephan Mörsch, Harvey Pekar, Kai Pfeiffer, Inna Poltorychin, Ri Tong Chan, Alexander Roob, Joe Sacco, Salon de Fleurus, John Singer Sargent, Alfred Schmidt, Dierk Schmidt, Jim Shaw, Andreas Siekmann, Susan Turcot, Rick Veitch, Robert Weaver, Stephen Wiltshire, Amelie von Wulffen, Eric Wunder, Florian Zeyfang
The exhibition is funded by the German Federal Cultural Foundation
Press conference: Friday, 18th February, 2005, 11 am
Opening: Friday, 18th February, 2005, 7 pm
At the same time in the Kunstverein für die Rheinlande und Westfalen, Düsseldorf:
ars viva 04/05 Zeit: Michael Hakimi, Peter Piller, Katja Strunz, David Zink Yi