Gesellenstück
11 Lambda exposures of varying sizes on 300g Hahnemühlen Photorag Ultrasmooth, 1 x 9 x 13 cm Kodak print, carpet, performance, postcard stand, 2015

For his “Gesellenstück” (Journeyman’s Piece) Rudi Weissbeck refers to Martin Kippenbergers exhibition “Peter – Die russische Stellung.“ This show at Max Hetzler gallery in Cologne showed for the first time Kippenbergers sculptural work. In it Kippenberger attempted to explain every aspect of the art of sculpture.

Weissbeck applies Kippenbergers approach, the discussion and processing of problems and prerequisites of a respective medium, on his own work and interests. The work encompasses the documentation of the so called perfect drape of an old carpet, the performance that created it, the use of a post card of post cards in a post card stand as well as multiple pictures that explore the painterly possibilities of contemporary digital photo editing.

Discussing the frailty and the possibility of failing one’s own expectations the work oscillates between playful humour and associative poetics, finding its way succesfully into artistic autonomy. This is exemplified in the brim of a hat that is continued in a digitally extended, flamingo coloured neon bow under a cloud covered ceiling.

· Andreas Schlaegel

Exhibition views:
Reality Check at Isenburger Schloss, Offenbach 2015

Exhibition view:

The Biography of Things at Art Collection Deutsche Börse, Eschborn 2018

Photo: Albrecht Haag

Dissidence 2018
Video documentation of the performance and long exposure
The Biography of Things
Art Collection Deutsche Börse, 2018
Video: Alexandra König

What you see… the sun, a gleaming fireball, dazzling the eye of the camera with its light. The black frame surrounding a cloudy section of sky reveals the photograph to be an analogue slide. The frayed edges and corners serve as evidence of the manual production technique to create it. Inside the frame, the sky borders the pictorial object, contextualizing it in its natural environment. Light reflexes and shadowing refer to a past materiality and spatiality and authenticate the situation depicted. A black dot on the camera sensor, an almost unnoticeable element in the composition, testifies to the presence of a photographic apparatus. The photograph captures the perfect moment of reality in a scenic way.

… is not what you get. The camera flash is reflected as a gleaming ball of fire as technology records itself. The painterly structure of digital white noise surrounds an image unsuccessfully attempting to disguise itself as an analogue recording. The geometric precision of the frame provides the clue to its being digitally constructed. Within the composition, digitality also continues to challenge the credibility of past analogy, calling the depicting function of photography into question. Light reflexes and shadows become liberated, turn into a gesture of artistic composition and function as evidence of virtual spatiality. A single, arbitrarily placed dot then appears as a starting point for individual freedom. The photograph creates the perfect moment through painterly means.

The work, in which Rudi Weissbeck engages with the character of our current reality and highlights the possibility of its being constructed by merging subject matter and production method, is titled Gesellenstück (Journeyman’s Piece). It does not simply depict the three-dimensional nature of our physical environment, but extends the latter by the dimension of the digital, so to speak. Both find their equivalence in the photographic work and achieve authenticity. This turns them into hybrid visual objects or images of things as they contribute to the expansion of our reality – our world of things.

· Hendrike Nagel

© Rudi Weissbeck – All rights reserved.