IKARUS - THE SECOND ATTEMPT
On the Proper Use of Wax
Edda Jachens – Bim Koehler – Thomas Mükisch – Ursula Neugebauer – Sybille Neumeyer – Robin Rose- Timm Ulrichs
„song for the last queen – from bees and arts“
on April 14th, 7 pm
Exhibition from March 11th to April 30th, 2016
When wax is brought into play, be aware how near the sun is.... Icarus, in his recklessness, apparently forgot that the feathers of his wings were only attached with wax. When, overjoyed by his ability to fly, he came too close to the sun, the wax melted and he plunged into the sea.
With craftsmanship one man’s curse can be another man’s blessing. Countless artists have worked methodically with the “melting” of wax. In the ancient tradition of encaustic painting, for example, pigment was stirred into soft wax and then, usually with a brush or a hot palette-knife, applied to canvas, wood, paper or another support material. The fascination of the waxen lustre has excited artists for thousands of years. In antiquity the technology, named after the Greek word “enkauston” (burnt in) was part of every artist’s basic training. Even today the colors of numerous works from Egyptian, Greek and Roman times are much better preserved than those of later oil paintings. As often happens, this time-consuming technique, which requires considerable skill and craftsmanship, was lost. It is all the more interesting that contemporary artists are once again experimenting with wax. Not always in the form of encaustic painting, as does the American artist Robin Rose, for example, but al- so by using insulating intermediary layers as Bim Koehler did in his early work. Edda Jachens employs them as a “sealer” and also to render optical depth to her paintings on paper or wood. Heating the support material, a technique already implemented in antiquity, is used by the Austri- an artist Thomas Mükisch. On warm summer days he places steel plates near the windows of his studio to “heat” them in the sun. He then quickly rubs Thermomelt® crayons on the warm metal plates, relying on the phenomenon of warmth to create changes in the coloring. In contrast Ursula Neugebauer works with translucent white paraffin to make innumerable small cast plates, which, attached to delicate strings, hover in a spatial installation that creates the illusion of a moving ice landscape.
In an entirely different manner Sybille Neumeyer and Timm Ulrichs have dealt with wax by incorporating its natural producers – bees. Whereas Timm Ulrichs makes positive use of the busy bees in their beehive to fill his stretcher bars with their carefully built-up honeycomb, Neumeyer ad- dresses the long-standing and worsening global problem of massive bee die-offs. In her work “song for the last queen” she places dead bees in various positions in small honey-filled vials. Displayed in lit-up cases the viewer is touched by these lifeless workers. From a distance though, they form – in the up and down of their positions in the vials – a kind of score of an imaginary musical piece.
You are invited to take in this multifaceted exhibition that illuminates wax as a topic from all sides in the most varied of artistic positions.
BENDER TALK #1
Our new event series Bender Talk gathers experts from a wide range of disciplines as well as artists to talk together in the gallery.
The first event in the context of the current exhibition "IKARUS - THE SECOND ATTEMPT. On the Proper Use of wax" took place on April 14, 2016:
Bender Talk: „song for the last queen – from bees and arts“
Sybille Neumeyer - artist
Peter Weber - artist and beekeeper
Time4tunes: Friedamaria Wallbrecher, Bettina Fuchs, Evelyn Löhr, Christiane Kaiser
followed by a honey tasting.
As a prelude to the evening, the a cappella quartet Time4tunes interpreted the work "song for the last queen" by artist Sybille Neumeyer, which was set as a silent notation. In this work, Neumeyer addresses the global phenomenon of massive bee die-offs, which has existed for years. She embeds dead bees in honey and lines them up in small vials. By varying the positioning of the bees in the vials, the artist sets a large-scale notation. It remains open to the viewer to perceive the score as cryptic signs or to search for a readability that can lie in a sonification but does not have to.
Sybille Neumeyer then introduced the background of her working method. In her artistic work, she translates phenomena and structures from nature and the environment into installations and moving image works, among other things. In the process, research as well as subjective experiences flow into the work process.
Peter Weber then gave us an insight into beekeeping, letting us take a look inside one of his hives. The artist and long-time bee father gave us an understanding of the challenges and problems of keeping these animals, which are so important for mankind, today. Finally, there was a honey tasting.