I remember a headless Dolores sitting down in an unrecognizable setting—a full figure of a man drawn on a pink circle with his eyes closed and his body not quite aligned. I felt like that when we first met in Cuenca, Spain. Back then, in 2004, the people in his drawings had closed eyes. Now, the animals in his paintings seem to retract from reality into an undefined interior life. Much of the work of German artist Harry Hachmeister (born in Leipzig in 1979) is imbued with a sense of belonging and of vexing inner bloom. He knows how to convey all these by setting up disorder in one part of the body for the purpose of knocking it down in another.
In his first solo exhibition in Romania, at Spaţiu Intact and Center of Interest (October 13–November 30), in Cluj-Napoca, entitled “Everything Under Control,” he opens up to us in works of startling clarity and economy of means, effective as a good metaphor sometimes drives an entire novel. A hyper-metaphor. Not only has Harry been incredibly successful with shows in prestigious institutions such as the Bundeskunsthalle Bonn (2022); How (Not) to Fit In: Metaphern der Adoleszenz, Villa Merkel, Esslingen (2022); Von Disko zu Disko, Museum der bildenden Künste Leipzig (2022); Neue Welten, Museum Folkwang, Essen (2021); Straße im Sonnenlicht, fiebach, MiKonstruktionen des Ichs, Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg (2019);
Harry Hachmeister offers the Romanian public unexpected situations in his photographic works, reverse glass paintings, and ceramic installations, dropping hints that are misleading because, as he declares, it makes him happy when a dumbbell turns into a handbag.
In photographs, he uses his body sometimes as a stranger, accepting the difficulty of it being formulated or fully knowing its demands. In his own words:
Whichever way you put it, the fact remains that my personal life is ultimately the source of all my artistic ideas. I never produced anything that I made up in my mind before; all of my artistic ideas come from my life or from the people around me, from things I am concerned with that represent me. I can only work on something that I know, something that affects me.” — Harry Hachmeister
Entering into dialogue with the Center of Interest’s Atrium space, with large scale ceramic sculptures representing various shapes of dumbbells, weights, and other objects that lead us to a gym scenario imagined by Harry Hachmeister, in precarious balance and most often playful, heavy but only by definition, not on the floor, in such a way that it forces us to confront the dissonance between our everyday lives and our ideal selves, Our struggle to reconcile the gap between the “is” and the “ought to be,” the “everyday” and the “desired,” is brought home to us in Harry Hachmeister’s gym scenarios.
Harry Hachmeister knows how to convey the weariness of existence and the exhaustion of arriving, which nowhere else is as potent as in his reverse glass paintings. Small in size and exhibited in a perfect line in a heavy magenta room, they shock the viewer with their profound new perspective on wholeness and shades of human potential that are sometimes unlocked through animals accompanying the often solitary human figures, which are suffused with melancholy, and through which Hachmeister examines the fatigue of bodies in transformation and cross-species friendship.
On the occasion of his exhibition, Harry Hachmeister addressed the public in Cluj-Napoca in a playful and protective setting with his curled cat sitters.
The exhibition can be visited until November 30, 2022.
Everything under control from Alex Mirutziu on Vimeo.
21/11/2022
Alex Mirutziu
Articles
Artist whose practice deals with the process of how we create meaning to interpret the world around us. Inspired by philosophy, literature, and design, he explores the inadequate use of objects, language, and the body as tools of communication.
Contemporary Lynx is an international and independent publication for art, design, collecting and photography on visual culture. With specially commissioned artwork, bespoke cover and a specific theme, it includes interviews with key figures in the art world and a range of insightful essays that debate current trends in arts.
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