Armin Bremicker - Quod erat demonstrandum (That which had to be proven)
Armin Bremicker (*1951) doesn't mind which artistic category his works belong to. Whether with painting, drawing, objects or installation, his aim is to communicate and to reflect visually. He allows himself to juggle between disciplines and forms of expression as he pleases, and in such a way that it is appropriate for the particular project. The same also applies to the categories “abstract” or “figurative”: he adapts the medium to the respective context and artistic intention.
His mastery of craftsmanship is often combined with a certain enigmatic aspect in the content. Even though one believes to see everyday things in the images at first, upon closer inspection questions arise. “What matters is the feeling that emerges,” says Armin Bremicker himself. He is concerned with making the “unrevealed” in the image perceptible—which is always there if one wants to seize a certain impression from the observed world.
It already begins with the way the work is presented. Despite their monumental format, Armin Bremicker consciously forgoes grand gestures in his multipartite paintings. Instead of the traditional canvas stretched on a frame, he takes a more modular approach, and assembles the works using small MDF boards. He thereby also creates associations with the painted tiles on socialist realist buildings. Armin Bremicker calls them “historical pictures”, even though—or precisely because—they do not document political milestones in the sense of canonised historiography. Instead, he establishes a monument to the tragedies in the lives of individuals.
In “Casting” (Audition), the size of the crowd of young girls (all waiting to start their career as a model) becomes itself an allegory for the fact that only very few of them will be successful, while the others face an unforeseeable fate. The physically intertwined figures in “Börse” (Stock Exchange), each intent on maximising their own gains, make it apparent that it is precisely their aggressive, dog-eat-dog attitude that blocks the progress of all those involved—and thus also their own. The oversize Mikado sticks not only act as a disruptive element, they also serve as a metaphor: as in the Mikado game, the slightest disturbance could result in the complete loss of control.
Armin Bremicker has entitled the series of his large, bold and sometimes almost comic-like images “Jäger und Sammler” (Hunters and Gatherers) and thus refers to the unpredictability of human nature. It constitutes an incalculable risk that creates a wide gap between desire and actuality, hope and reality. In additions, as is so often the case in his work, the images also contain references to art history. For example, the gaze of one of the candidates for the modelling job is fixed on the viewer, as is the case in many Renaissance paintings. Furthermore, the intertwined figures with their Mikado sticks evoke associations with 15th century battle scenes by Paolo Uccello.
Armin Bremicker regularly dedicates his paintings to the motif of the loop, in the form a Möbius strip that symbolises infinity. Mostly monochrome and intertwined like oversized gift ribbons, they sometimes are also emblazoned with lettering. The text in the work “Schlaufe A Rose” (Loop A Rose), for example, quotes the famous sentence by Gertude Stein: “A Rose is a rose is a rose...” , a phrase that can be continued indefinitely. It could be interpreted to mean that things just are what they are. However, it is also clear that the written word “ROSE” is only a reference and not the rose itself. For Gertrude Stein, the text was linked to the statement that the name of an object primarily evokes its image and the feelings associated with it. This leads us directly to the question of how language, art and what we call reality are actually linked—and what an artistic work, whether painting, object or text, is literally able to catalyse in us as the viewer.
Perhaps the “Unknown Woman from the Seine”, whose famous death mask opens her eyes in Armin Bremicker's adaptation entitled “Seine & Erweckung” (Seine & Awakening), does so having discovered for herself a particularly logical correlation here. Seen in this way, she becomes a representative for us as guests of the exhibition. We are invited to look at the works, and to allow and observe the feelings and thoughts that are triggered in us to be experienced in a way that is as enjoyable as it is aware.
Text: Winfried Stürzl
Translation: Sarah Dudley