BERNHARD KAHRMANN. In silent motion. 18.02.2009 – 28.03.2009

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english / deutsch

“In Silent Motion” is the fourth solo show by Stuttgart artist Bernhard Kahrmann (*1973) at the Galerie Reinhard Hauff. This exhibition consists of a group of works in different kinds of media, which have in common an exploration of our sensibility to light as giving form to both matter and the immaterial. The exhibition thus follows themes developed by the artist in the recent catalogue “volatile tenderness” which was published on the occasion of Kahrmann’s 2008 exhibition at the Kunsthalle Göppingen.

Finely toned intensity levels make it difficult for the eye of the observer to distinguish between natural light reflections, artificial illuminations and form-phenomena introduced by the artist as he deliberately renounces on sharp contours and theatrical effects in favour of shapes and forms with blurred distinctions and broad, gently defined outlines generated by various artificial light sources within the empty, lit gallery rooms.

The minimalist aesthetic of Kahrmann’s recent work as seen in the Kunstverein für die Rheinlande und Westfalen in Düsseldorf in 2007 stand in marked contrast to his earlier installations where a charged, suggestive environment contained a multitude of strong visual stimuli. Now, the radical reduction of artistic forms of expression create at times almost imperceptible constellations of visual phenomena —like the white, dancing points projected on white walls (“Hubble”, 2007/2008) or the digital work projected within the office rooms of the Galerie Reinhard Hauff. Such works leave it open to the viewer to interpret the seen as a by-product of his/her own phantasy or a light art object produced by the artist. To the extent that the human eye strains at making out the transition from light to shadow in favour of enhancing the capacity to see subtle objects, Kahrmann guides the viewer towards sensing the limits of the “visible” simply through arranging for minimal changes to the light dispositions within the room. Without any complex technique or sophisticated equipment Kahrmann simply uses neon tubes, leaving the electrical wiring casually visible in an intriguing sculptural installation in the main room where shimmering cut outs of silver foil reflect the direct and indirect light around the piece like lametta. Because of their very subtle nature the sculptures, which inhabit the rooms of the Galerie Reinhard Hauff, become objects of atmospheric density. Devoid of any narrative, they embody a new dimension of reality.