My ability to write had a 50th anniversary in 2020 during the Corona Lockdown. The artwork I wanted to celebrate this with had to mature an extra year due to my parental obligation to homeschooling. As the duration of my pseudo-teaching increased, a book title by Marcel PROUST settled into my consciousness, as if in an endless loop. I originally used "In Search of Lost Time" as a sarcastic sigh, but it belatedly became the content and conceptual key to my anniversary project through a productive misunderstanding. It addresses in an abstract way the relationship between age and childhood, student and teacher, right and wrong, hyphen and separator, blue and red.
During the Cold War and the student revolt, in the small suburb of my childhood everything was in the old order - apart from the fact that my father, a teacher, had left our mother, whom he had met during his studies, in favor of a much younger woman. On the occasion of my enrollment in school, he dad disappeared for a"vacation", from which he never returned. So I learned without him the Lateinische Ausgangsschrift, the obligatory cursive script for beginners in Germany at that time. The order in which I practiced the letters is largely handed down in my first exercise book, which I inherited from my mother.
As was proper in 1970, the lowercase "i" was the first letter, which is why my Westphalian father called his school beginners "i-Männchen," whereas my mother's Lower Rhine "i-Dötzchen" could not prevail. By the way, "Dotz" means dot - an additional inspiration now for the use of dots as a n essential drawing element. Artistically essential is for me that dot lines have both a separating and connecting function. Perforations mark predetermined breaking points, but also offer the freedom to leave everything as it was, to continue to be perceived as a whole, almost whole.
In these drawings, I manually mark with colored dots the geometric auxiliary lines that I previously drew with a compass - a reversal of the way my daughter practiced handwriting, namely by tracing printed dotted lines with fountain pen and ink. The latter, however, is blue, as it was 50 years ago, and teachers still correct in red. Red stands for analysis, separation, and separating the wheat from the chaff. Blue, on the other hand, refers to the unifying and universal, perhaps to the dream and the freedom of thought.
Thought bubbles and banners have occupied me subliminally for several years. The connection between text and image was more obviously thematized "of all things" in the artistic visualization of the subtext of digital entities. Funnily enough, the French word "phylactère" now refers to ribbons of text in medieval paintings as well as thought bubbles in contemporary comics. Inspired by this time split, I try to relate the two forms conceptually in a reasonably logical way. The title 'Phylecture' is a neologism of "phylactère" and "Lektüre" (the German term for reading)..
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