From March 23 – May 19, 2012, the Galerie Hunchentoot will be showing “Einschüsse”* – serial works by Blixa Bargeld.
Black spots and lines are spread out on white image surfaces and vice versa. Harsh contrasts focus on abrasions to the surfaces of façades, on patterns left behind by rapid gunfire. If patterns are brought to mind here, then it is because the bullet holes caused by gunfire draw irregular patterns on the façades that seem like deliberately created images, specifically in their fortuitousness. This is due to a method of viewing trained to see abstraction.
The combination of the subject (the fragment of a façade) and of a work’s title (the name of a street or a square in Berlin-Mitte + the street address) appears to speak for a documentary nature of the series, and this suspicion seems all the more justified since they are based on photographic images. What can be seen was or is there, and is exactly where the title localizes it. That much is correct. The conclusion that it concerns documentary work, however, is false. It is necessary to bridge the gap between the title and the work, which clearly separates the concrete from abstraction in the image. The black of these images is actually black; the white is actually white. There are no gray tones. Accordingly, Blixa Bargeld’s works exhibited in the series “Einschüsse” have just as little to do with anything documentary in the category of black-and-white photography. Instead, their tendency is more comparable to abstract painting, in which it is not so much an anti-realism that can be seen, but as Siegfried Kracauer put it, the realistic revelation of a prevailing abstractness. What Blixa Bargeld translates into images is an aesthetic practice. More generally, it should be perceived as an approach towards the world; in fact, it is just one productive mode of existence that Blixa Bargeld has made in his diverse artistic works. In this respect, the patterns of the “Einschüsse” also continue beyond the provisional limits of the image surfaces.
Maria Zinfert, January 2012
* “Einschüsse” = bullet holes; shots
Galerie Hunchentoot, Choriner Str. 8, 10119 Berlin