until 22.06. | #2503ARTatBerlin | EIGEN + ART Lab presents from 20th June 2019 for three days the exhibition make a wish (microdose) by the artist Felix Leon Westner with a performance at the opening evening.
Language as a mirror, the commentary as shields reflecting possible meanings of signs. Harmony as an old pal and a false friend, triggering fantasies of rhythm and therefore of orientation and belonging. Swift-flowing sketches of conversations of the now, the never, the ever.
We yearn to make sense as we love to get lost.
Felix Leon Westner works with our desires. He blows them up, he microdoses them down. His practice is combining pop and poetry with rave and analytical reflections. He is a musician performing a set of songs on a stage. Putting layers of sound – that originate from his organ of speech but are mainly noises with snippets of language – on top of each other, looping them to create scapes that could almost be called tracks but is than breaking them off before they become too harmonic, too rhythmic, too much of an earwig.
At the same time Westner is a stenographer. The drawings that he produces while performing – on walls, cardboards, flip charts – are concise but simple logs of thoughts and attached discourses. These manifestations outlast the gig itself and work as kind of storages of what happened and thus carry the major but at the same time hazy thoughts and ideas. In spite of their undeniable material existence these protocols seem to favor the ambiguous over the explicit.
The drawings function as recordings of the performing act but are highly subjective in this sense. They don’t capture what really happened, they don’t bring to life what was. As with the sound that you could almost call music, Westner’s approach highlights the intentionally random. He doesn’t leave anything to chance and his performances are highly choreographed but at the same time uses the environment, made up of space, time and the audience, proactively as material. In this sense one could call his act the one of a true MC, mastering a ceremony while melting different layers of various media.
Felix Leon Westner’s practice oscillates between vibrancy and concretism. The sound and the sketches are interwoven but also seem to emend each other. The words that grow out of the rushing discourse of noise can form sentences that end up as slogans in his drawings. Or they become shortened again or crossed out (which happens a lot and is a key tool of how Westner molds sentences out of words, meanings out of language – and the other way around). Sometimes he may pick up elements that first appear in a drafty sketch on paper into his tonal vocabulary. One gets the impression that there’s a dialogue between mouth and hand, the mike and the pen, the speakers and the walls.
With his sketchy recordings the artist questions his and our ability to hold onto anything, to save what seems important to us, to sort and to emphasize. He tackles our insufficiency to navigate through the uncountable streams of possible input and safe distractions that surround us.
Text by Konstantin Lannert
Vernissage: Thursday, 20 June 2019, Opening + Performance at 7:00 p.m.
Exhibition period: Friday, 21st June – Saturday, 22nd June 2019Zum EIGEN + ART Lab
Image caption: Courtesy EIGEN + ART Lab – Felix Leon Westner
Exhibition Felix Leon Westner – EIGEN + ART Lab | Zeitgenössische Kunst in Berlin | Contemporary Art | Ausstellungen Berlin Galerien | ART at Berlin