THEORY OF DATAISM - SOLO EXHIBITION OF JOSEF ACHRER (solo)
EXHIBITION SYNOPSISAbout Theory of Dataism - Solo Exhibition of Josef Achrer
On Nov 20，L-Art Gallery presents Josef Achrer solo exhibition：Theory of Dataism. The artist’s new paintings and installations in the series of “from the data series” reveal the thoughts and continuous explorations in his creative medium and artistic language in the recent years. In his Dataist works that followed after 2013, Josef Achrer again used his symbolism and separated the elements of the picture into two categories. Although he does not emphasise them at all, one can find clues to understanding them. The part with elements of gradual colour change is a contemplation on RGB and CMYK information systems. Another part is the communication of the existence of “information” – the lines used for the borders and the colour section. Josef Achrer mixes this duality, often in a very unique way. This is precisely the method he uses in his oeuvre. In the end, however, one can also detect his following feeling from the symbols: paradoxically, this duality is difficult to separate, and sometimes it is thus naturally unifying, as if it would be the only longitude.
Under a flat surface, Josef Achrer’s work has fluorescent colour projected on the wall, which is not a very rare method. But it is important to note that the fluorescent colour is closely connected with his message. Fluorescence brings the flatness of the work to life, bringing the viewer’s attention to the existence of materiality and questions associated with it: how do information and data construct the materiality we see? To how great an extent has material been violated? Josef Achrer deals with all of these questions.
Josef Achrer’s most interesting Dataist works are associated with bends and folds. The black staff-shaped work, for example, has its own version in a curved line plus another very similar one, but with a short segment of small folds. When you look at both at the same time, they offer a surprising message. Most of all, Josef Achrer perhaps believes that there is a reflective relationship between information, data and material. But one must not completely trust these reflections. When you see that the twisted object is exactly the same as the untwisted reflection (all are projected with the same RGB), you understand his idea: information, data and material are in a relationship that is not necessarily 1:1 symmetry. Which also means that in all probability, we are unable to construct information from data and thus grasp material. In fact, all of the gigantic conglomerates that we accept are built on less than entirely stable foundations with the inner failings our mind grants them.
In the course of its discovery of the world, humanity has constantly had misgivings about the world. Methodologies for the premises, analyses, and even solutions for questions ceaselessly arise and bring unexpected results. Hence, as one reads in the artist’s declaration on Dataism, Achrer addresses the questions that humankind faces while using traditional materials. Josef Achrer has thus embraced one of the most fundamental qualities of art: the existence of art as an opinion, not a language (often also called “form”): During the Renaissance, perspective was an opinion; Titian’s opinion was colour; Gustav Coupert’s opinion was “authenticity”; the Impressionists’ opinion was light. Beuys’ “butter” is also an opinion. “Opinion” is thus the premise for artists from various periods. The thing we call the history of art is composed of these. One can therefore understand why, with their symbolism and graphic symbols, quotes, collages, copies – even those where not even a hair has been changed – became legal tools in exhibition spaces, recognised by art history in the early second half of the 20th century. This also explains very well why Josef Achrer’s works and the painterly way in which he grasped the foundations of data and information have such historical self-assurance：It is clear to me that it must be very complicated to achieve a movement in which new data would be created free of acquired experiences. But in a manner of speaking, this is about the calm and concentration of a visionary. And in painting, that is perhaps what is most important.