CONSTANTIN LUSER - LINEAR FUNCTIONS
December 13th, 2014 – February 28th, 2015
Constantin Luser (*1976) is an Austrian artist who regards drawing as the most original of artistic media. The full spectrum of his work starts with and evolves from this medium. The artist makes collages, creates outsized sculptures, and is concerned with various technological processes, which flow into his art in their turn. For some time now, to supplement and continue the drawings, he has been producing filigree objects, whose materiality – that of wire – is suggestive of three-dimensional drawing.
Luser's drawings are multilayered, complex configurations characterised by a precise and meticulous use of line. They are produced using either one or several fineliner pens and pencil in conjunction and spread out before the viewer like geographical maps. These are personal landscapes of the mind, bringing together biographical references as well as the real and the surreal. Individual ideas, characters, bizarre and fantastic objects and places, or information that Luser has been sketching and capturing in his diaries for many years serve as means to create content. What is depicted is taken from its classic context and set down on paper by the artist, forming new, disturbing combinations. In the process Luser mixes different perspectives, interlocking, blocking and interlacing separate narrative threads. Viewing these works is like embarking on a visual journey through new territory, led by the sequence of lines.
The artist employs historical material for his collages; after a chance acquisition, he works using the lexicon “Braunen Meyer” (edition: 1936 -1942). Impressed by the artistic quality of the illustrations, he separates them from their existent contexts and combines them in new ways. There is one collage consisting of exactly 40 individual pieces for each published volume (A – Soxhlet).
The same collages served Luser as a starting point for the video work shown here, “Das Rote Seil” (The Red Rope). It was made in collaboration with Stefan Arztmann in 2011. Again, disconnection from significance and context play a key part in the work. To a soundtrack of classical music, we experience the animated formation and development of new synergies and relations between nature, man and technology. The key emphasis is on the fallibility of our species and constructions, today's technological possibilities, and the almost limitless options for acquiring (part-) knowledge.
The latest series of works comprises filigree wire sculptures, which continue the artist's pictorial cosmos in three-dimensional space. They are presented as floating objects and are therefore subject to continual motion. Some individual objects hang in front of mirrors. Besides Luser's debate with dynamics, these works indicate his interest in the effects of shadow and light as well as in change determined by the factor of time. Accordingly, here the artist is turning not only to the third but also to the fourth dimension, challenging the viewer's process of perception. “Regardless of whether they concern the limits of a picture carrier, a wall or a three-dimensional space, Luser's works explode any form of framework. They romp in the continuum of a superabundant flood of pictorial information...” (Hans Peter Wipplinger, director of the Kunsthalle Krems, Austria).