until 30.06. | Galerie Schlachthaus.fresh & fine art shows lithographs by Otto Piene until the end of June with poems by Fernando Arrabal, text by Ante Glibota and sculptures by Andreas Blank and Stefan Rinck. The exhibition was curated by Constanze Kleiner, Ante Glibota and Stephan von Wiese.
“Breaking out of the art world, filling the vacuum” (Otto Piene)
To “The Nights of Héliogabalus” (poems by Fernando Arrabal, lithographs by Otto Piene, text by Ante Glibota, sculptures by Andreas Blank and Stefan Rinck) in the gallery Schlachthaus.fresh & fine art, Berlin With a brilliant cooperation, the lithographic portfolio: ” The nights of the Héliogabalus “, Otto Piene decided in June 2014 his artistic work. Shortly before his death, the painter, light and Sky Art artist was inspired by verses written for him by the French-Spanish poet Fernando Arrabal. The final stone of the work was a last major work. Schlachthaus.fresh & fine art Berlin Charlottenburg presents this surprising last Volte in a work rich in experiments and ideas for the first time. Otto Piene got to know Arrabal personally in Paris in 2013 and may have seen in his bizarre, word-drunk work, which seems to have sprung from the night-vision of a Goya, a challenging counterpoint to his own bright visions. These were always explicit signs of peace. So the wide-stretched rainbow for the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich. “Héliogabalus”, who became emperor of Rome by a revolt two thousand years ago, inspired Artauld to his “theater of cruelty.” Arrabal and Piene found “the other side in the mirror” in the insane acts of this irrepressible and unrestrained anarchist on the throne. The one, ever omnipresent, that suddenly reveals the ambivalence of all human actions and judgments.This is what the introductory verses of the cycle and the lithographic episode are called: “Cleaning the Mirrors.” Arrabal’s surreal word creations and Piene’s visionary imagery clash and bounce Suddenly, absurd constellations of verbal connotations and imagery emerge, the surprise sparking – also of mirth – which, as the sister of laughter, curbs anxiety and avoids horror, it is a bright ray of hope, the Piene – all Piene – into his last work Weaved in and us – almost with a aufm winking – left as a last greeting: Let’s “break out of the art. Fill in the gaps! ”
The collaboration between the two artists was conveyed by the Parisian historian and author Ante Glibota, author of comprehensive publications on Arrabal and Piene, and recorded as a witness to the artistic work in a fundamental text.
Arrabal then wrote ten poems for Piene, ia. with the titles “Maw of Hell”, “The anchor of the Vertigo”, “Ocean Passage” or “The island that fell into a star”. Piene reacted to these verses spontaneously and directly, without any preliminary work. The work was printed under the direct supervision of the artist in the prestigious lithograph press of Stephane Guilbaud at the Paris Gare de Lyon. Arrabal himself then added the arabesque lettering for the title page. The result was a brilliant bibliophile portfolio of unbound pages of large format.
Piene called first as a ZERO artist in Germany, then as the creator of Sky Art in the vastness of America’s landscapes to leave the sky as the atmospheric shell of the earth and the mythical seat of the gods not the fire and the destructive power of the war weapons, but to conquer him spiritually with imaginative power: “We, the serious artists, have to face reality, wake up, break out of the art world, fill the vacuum.” (Sky Art Manifest)
Piene’s imagery began with drawings of people falling from the sky. As Flakhelfer he had seen the misery of the world war, the gloomy side of the world, sat as a ZERO artist on the other hand, luminous light ballets, bright raster images, energy-laden smoke drawings and fire pictures. Here literally “joy beautiful divine spark” prevailed. As a Sky Art artist, Piene placed stars, flowers, mythical figures on rising helium loops in the sky. At international Sky Art conferences, these works gained collective power. These ever-new constellations of artistic cooperation have opened Piene wide open also for the liberating impulses emanating from the absurd in Fernando Arrabal, who break up the hardened ideological structures with the power of the word. Arrabal has mastered this pitch virtuoso – another new challenge for Piene then: the paradisiacal and the grotesque – even demonic – face each other, fight each other – interpenetrate in open ambivalence. The head of the Medusa, whose stony look petrifies, winks at us, sharks are crucified unsacrally in poisoned green water, red, blood-spattered arms stretch out of the water: Are you praying or calling to revolution and resistance? Otto Piene died in Berlin a few weeks after completing these high-explosive images. This cooperation with Arrabal, through Otto Piene, became a life-giving elixir of abysmal grotesque, sparkling cheerfulness, love for everything living and longing for peace – an epoch-making work.
April 6, 2018 Constanze Kleiner / Stephan von Wiese
Artist Statements Andreas Blank and Stefan Rinck – Homage to Otto Piene
Andreas Blank: Monument 25, 2018 Marble, alabaster, basalt, serpentinite 47x41x 89 cm
Andreas Blank has referred to the introductory verses of the cycle and the lithographic sequence “Cleaning the mirrors”, in particular to the two following marked lines: “Cleaning the mirrors”
I walk through the gate and darkness: is it the gash of hell or just sulphurous decor? The fullness of darkness haunts me With eyes of greed and abysmal. I do not know what hides and lurking in the rhythm of nature and in the folds of memory. Are you hiding the labyrinth and the kiss where the Minotaur and the addicts meet? I have no idea; no Ariane Brightens me in my mind. Am I petrified in the face of the monster? Who could say it? Are the puzzles to be solved, to cross the rivers, to clean the mirrors? I have to solve the mystery That awaits me behind the black gate.
April 7, Andreas Blank
Stefan Rinck Heliogabal, 2018 Sandstone 70 x 50 x 20 cm
Stefan Rinck himself writes about his work “Heliogabal”: “… gives birth to Varius Avitus Bassianius, later to Elagabalus or Son of the Peaks, Pseudoantoninus, Sardanapal and finally Heliogabal, a name that is evidently the happy grammatical of the oldest names for sun. ” This excerpt from Antonin Artaud’s book “Heliogabal or the Anarchist on the Throne” and the following passages from Otto Pienes and Arrabal’s book have inspired me to depict Griffin as Ouroboros. “The hell of fire forbids me to cherish the slightest hope So I renounce all deeds, of all obscurity.” “Icarus flies her, renouncing the plumage with arms as wings.”
Fortunately, the fire is implied by the blaze of the yellow, orange red sandstone and is formally present in the flame-shaped lion’s lobes of Griffin.
The circle emerges through the Ouroboros and is intended to reflect the corona of the sun, the circular wreath of the sun. The sun, whose deity was Heliogabal in Rome, is the planet that had come too close to Icarus, causing its wings to melt out of wax and cause it to crash. It therefore had to be a winged being. I chose the Griffin because, like Heliogabal, he found his way from ancient Syria to the Roman West, and because Griffin, with his scorpion tail, can poison himself as Ouroborus himself.
The self-poisoning reflects the contradiction to which Heliogabal was exposed as an anarchist on the throne: he was ruler – the instance an anarchist can not accept.
Thus Artaud reports that Heliogabal prostituted himself in front of the temples of Rome in order to humiliate himself – the instance of rulers.
The sun (with it the light), the fire, the circle, the iconographic intersection of the Heliogabal are meant to bring the work closer to the cosmos of Otto Piene’s work and to be understood as a tribute to Otto Piene.
April 6, Stefan Rinck
Opening: Wednesday, April 18th, 2018, 6 pm
Exhibition period: Wednesday, April 18 to Saturday, June 30, 2018
WHEN? Tue-Fri 2pm-7pm | Sat, Sun, Mon by appointment (Constanze Kleiner +49 177 52761 88)
WHERE? Schlachthaus.fresh & fine art, Budapester Straße 10, 10787 Berlin-Tiergarten
Image caption cover image: Front, page 3 of the edition (Otto Piene: “The crucified sharks”, 2014)
DIE NÄCHTE DES HÉLIOGABALUS – Homage to Otto Piene – Galerie Schlachthaus.fresh & fine art | Contemporary Art in Berlin – ART at Berlin