THOMAS LOCHER. Die Rechnung. Die nicht aufgeht.. 16.09.2006 – 28.10.2006

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english / deutsch

Galerie Reinhard Hauff is pleased to announce the opening of its fourth solo exhibition with the Berlin artist Thomas Locher (*1956). Locherʻs oeuvre observes and analyses the conduct of thought and communication, organised in accordance with the principles, rules and regulations, which structure the life of Man. By their universally accepted irrevocability, grammar and the rule of law stand for guidelines for human co-existence. At the same time, immense fictional potential is embedded in every word in our vocabulary: every word nourishes associations and analogies. Taking the concept of „gift“ as point of departure, the French philosopher Jacques Derrida observes that there is in the „giving“ a „non-giving“ which conceptually is difficult—or impossible—to reconcile as underlying principle. The exhibition title refers to Locherʻs concern with various aspects of terminology from economy mirrored in language: Money, credit, trust, signs and symbols, value, circulation, exchange, change, replacement etc. As an analog to economy with its production of a surplus of goods, things and energies, language produces a multitude and surplus of significant meanings, meanings which may also not make sense, and are therefore no longer interchangeable, can no longer be used „in exchange for, in replacement of...“ and therefore remain as „left-over“ word constellations, divorced of „use“, divorced of „sense“.

The exhibition displays two new series of text compositions on a wallpaper construct, depicting various—mainly anonymous—commercial interiors. Only the 1940
ʻs Frank Lloyd Wright building for the Johnson Wax Company can actually be identified. One series is from „Gift. To Give. Giving. Given. Gift, if there is any“ (J. Derrida) and is put together from all sorts of available images from the media that visually illustrate the above citation, and also its innate contradictions. Contrasted with these formally pristine text fragments, the second series—also taken from a Derrida piece „Donner le temps“—(give your time)—consists of the philosopherʻs sentences annotated by the artist as he reflects and thinks out loud. Giving, and Gift are of such nature that they interrupt the circulation dictated by economy (defined monetary value). A Gift „a thing given willingly to someone without payment“ in order to be a gift—cannot circulate—cannot enter the circuit of that which is passed along. A Gift cannot be transferred or exchanged—quite in contrast to all other goods of material value. On the other hand, in order for any thing, any item, to be object of an exchange, it has to have been a-priory obtained, acquired. In this zone between giving, the given and the acquired, the authentic gift implies no expectation of return of favours, no desire, no IOY bind, no obligation. A Gift is a one way street—as opposed to a product exchanging hands in an economic circuit. Other text works in the show reflect on thoughts by George Bataille, Karl Marx and Pierre Klossowski which tend to be formulated as mathematical, logical equations and to which the artist affixes personal traces of reflection.