LOTHAR HEMPEL

ON THE OLYMPUS, 2004

08.05 - 26.06.2004

 

"If all the world is a stage, sometimes life can feel like a stage you're going through. Hempel's theatricality, predicated on the belief that an audience will actually work as hard as he wants them to, is earnest, unsceptical and more than a little idealistic. He treats the world like a giant ready-made on the move, encouraging art - as an object, an idea or a style - to dematerialise into different realms. It's an approach which reflects a greater disintegration - that of knowing what art should do or be anymore, apart the one thing it's always been - a medium for change and an often conflicting fusion of ideas and images. Alluding to the stage, but exploiting the absence of performers, he asks nothing less than that the viewer become at once actor (an improvisational one at that) and spectator, taking an active role in the interpretation and creation of meaning - a meaning which emerges in his work in a way comparable to the way it emerges in life: as flashes of intuition, moments of clarity and usually inconclusively; through the fragments, connections, signs ans sounds of our environments."

Jennifer Higgie, Let's get lost in Frieze September-October 1999, p 86-89

Lothar Hempel's installations can be viewed as one connected composition, a parallel universe. Sculptures and paintings create a scenario, an atmospheric whole. The artist builds the backdrop for a scene from a potential, fictive situation. Like sets, the works become a temporary platform, split the space into an unspecific time, a series of interrelated images: time and space are loosing their homogeneous and linear character. Pale mute figures, urban characters then emerge; elusive narratives and stories of isolated people, like in transit between a front and a back, beauty and disaster.

On the Olympus focuses on the idea of Drama; it's the first solo exhibition of Lothar Hempel in Athens.

 

All pictures: exhibition views, Photos Stathis Mamalakis