Hans Hemmert

한스 해머
ハンス・ハマート
german panther

HANS HEMMERT 59

source: highlike

Work: Hans Hemmert (Hollstadt, 1960) lives and works in Berlin. After studying at the city’s Akademie der Künste, he went on to the prestigious St. Martin’s School in London, the mecca since the sixties of the masters of modern Anglo-Saxon sculpture. As is characteristic of modern sculpture, his artistic investigation is centred on the abstract redefinition of real space, leading him to use since 1992 a surprising material: air. This, and latex (the rubber of children’s balloons), and later the artist himself, are the components of his œuvre. From that year date his first installations with spectacular air balloons adapted to the architecture of the exhibition spaces, like the one installed in the lobby of the CGAC. Commenting on these, the artist said: “I would define this principle as soft art – to use computer terminology, which makes a distinction between software and hardware. Transferred to the context of the exhibition, this means disposing of, on the one hand, as hardware, the architecture itself, with its distribution of windows and spaces, etc…, and on the other, art, which would represent a kind of software. In my case, it is truly soft”. The smoothness and levity of the air balloons contrast with their imposing aspect, which results from their great volume. But this very contrast, achieved through a ludic process, renders hollow sculpture´s traditionally commemorative intention, and triggers a sense of perceptive disorientation at the instability it transmits. Indeed, the sculptures’ geometric form shares the fragility of both the latex that delimits them and the air, the invisible material trapped in their interior, that makes them possible. Apart from the simplicity of the material used, two other characteristics of Hemmert’s works immediately catch the observer’s attention: their subtle humour, considered here as an aesthetic stance, and the plastic presence of the images. Thus, the slides of the series Home-Frame I and the photographs of Home-Frame II have a factual nature about them that transcends the mere act of documenting an action. In the large-format slides presented in lightboxes, Home-Frame I (1995-97), the artist is photographed in abstract environments created by filling with air a fine latex membrane in settings proper to his everyday life: his house, his car, his studio. The negative images thus obtained render these spaces unrecognisable. The yellow latex membrane creates a closed, hermetic world in which the artist is its sole inhabitant. The places of his everyday life transform themselves; their familiarity vanishes, our habitual perceptive structures lose all value. These are ambiguous works, open to the most diverse and contradictory of interpretations and conceived to be completed in the mind of the active observer. For Hemmert, “that which is not seen is often the only essential element in a work of art”. Furthermore, the artist’s use of the strong brilliant yellow does not single out any one particular meaning, but is chosen for a “sentimental reason”, simply because it is his favourite colour. Hemmert’s experimentation with air and yellow latex also characterises Home-Frame II (1998). In this series, made up of 21 large colour photographs, the artist disappears into a large latex ball, that mediates his relationship with the outside world: day-to-day actions, such as climbing up a ladder, riding a Vespa, etc… are transformed into almost paradoxical scenes. Through the use of humour, they stir in the observer a certain disconcerting feeling. Hemmert’s artistic stand is conceptual: his solutions to the problem of defining sculpture’s space bring about a reflection that goes beyond the formal aspects and the mere physical presence of the work. Anna Cestelli Guidi Exhibition curator.
Image: german panther, 2007, Luftballon/Luft/Kleber (balloon/air/glou), Installationsansicht Städtische Ga
Photographer: Helmut Claus
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source: highlike
Foam-born By Roland Nachtigäller The bubble is an unique spatial phenomenon: spherical, but amorphous, creating space and thrusting it away at the same time, protruding as much as it absorbs. There is nothing between the inside and outside of a bubble but a thin membrane, flexible, (semi)transparent, (semi)permeable and extremely fragile. The bubble defines a transitory space whose volume dissolves at the moment the bubble bursts. An accumulation of bubbles creates the structure now as foam. In his three-volume work Spheres, Peter Sloterdijk brought the spatial notions of bubbles, globes, foams together in a philosophical project that treats space as a life-world, as an anthropological value existing only in combination with people. If Hans Hemmert’s large sculptural projects Kapelle (Chapel) or german panther are viewed in this context, they seem almost like a visible artistic manifestation of this way of addressing space, its construction forms and the associated understanding of space. In each case these sculptures draw their magnificent formal tension from an almost physically perceptible contradiction between content and form: a solid stone ecclesiastical building, a tank weighing tons represented by nothing but air and light, colourful latex membranes – balloons, in fact. A massive claim to eternity and indestructibility meets the decay that begins at the moment of birth, a show of sinister power and authority over cheerfully splendid colour and carefree children’s playthings. These contradictory narratives lie deep in Hemmert’s balloon sculptures, project a physically discernible tension into the air that is still quite independent of the ever-present possibility that individual balloons could burst. But Hans Hemmert is definitely interested in more than this. The model of an up-to-date space experience also appears in his balloon structures. Peter Sloterdijk again: »Net theoreticians think in a radically unspatial way, i.e. two-dimensionally, they use concepts of anorexia to interpret their relationship with the world around them. (…) I prefer to use the concept of the foam bubble of the cell, the capsule as far as I am concerned, to show that the individual element already has an extent of its own. (…) ›Cell‹ expresses the fact that the individual point contains world and has world shape. The web or net metaphor leads at best to tiny knots, but you can’t inhabit knots. Unlike this, the foam metaphor emphasizes the microcosmic own space inherent in each individual cell.« 1 The balloon as space relating to people, as a bubble filled with breath and thus with life, that in multiple accumulation adds up to a new whole, to an image- and thought-space. In Hans Hemmert’s balloon sculptures the stone or steel might of a house of God, a war machine is linked back to man both ironically and idealistically. But they also always address quite fundamental sculptor’s questions as well: each according to small and large form, to volume and weight, to space and its relationship with the viewer. This way of working, as pictorial as it is analytical, permeated with subtle humour and precise clarity in its questioning, yet still allowIntroduction ing things and spaces to keep a secret, can also be found in Hemmert’s drawings and particularly in his videos. His pictorial world has effectively made the bubble a basic form whose protrusions can produce a ghetto blaster, a cross, a revolver or even a complete Porsche. But these poisonously yellow objects are almost always placed in a concrete relationship with people, they use them, carry them, stand beside them. In Hemmert’s work, abstraction does not mean the loss of concrete meaning, but the amorphous dissolution of hard boundaries: the things flow out into the world into a new, as yet undefined functionality, drive out the space they claim and at the same time absorb it (not least because of their dominant colouring as well). And yet this space is full of history – the history of individual lives, art history full of quotations, political world history. Space does not appear in Hans Hemmert’s work as a threedimensionally defined extent, but as a multidimensional construct of individual being- bubbles. People and their habitats, the spaces for stories and action, are definitely not part of a linear network, but complex foams, extensive accumulations of radii of action, experience, memory and thought that combine with each other, penetrate and unit each other in a highly sensual and stimulating way, as ironically refracted as permeated with profound seriousness. Hemmert’s sculptures and drawings, his films and animations conceal the enormous tension of the insoluble contradiction, they are historypacked abstractions, puzzling analyses and lucid, all at the same time – and above all they are a delight for the eye. Roland Nachtigäller 1 Architekten machen nichts anderes als In- Theorie, Peter Sloterdijk in conversation with Sabine Kraft and Nikolaus Kuhnert, in: archplus, no. 169/170, May 2004, p. 21. (Translation here: Dr. Jeremy Gaines
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source: highlike
Seconds of a Motion – Experiences with the works of Hans Hemmert ”I am not in space and time, nor do I conceive space and time; I belong to them, my body combines with them and includes them.” Merleau-Ponty, 2004, 162 Physicality. Being here or there, but never here and there. A beingness that becomes what it is always only one in a time, always driven and motivated through a certain context-bound and context-forming position. Physicality. How you walk, how you talk, the way you speak and the way you open and close your eyes. Physicality as in the very basic elements and notions of who we are, where we are and what we are. Not as stable and solid entities, not as neutral statists, and not as given particles in a monstrous machine. Physicality as in the constantly changing and always plural ways of existing. What’s more, its physicality as an invitation into shaping and making these ways and variations of existence. Physicality is not in opposition to sensations or interpretations. It is an integral part of it everything and anything. It is part of the game of how we are what we are in any circumstances. It is about how we relate to ourselves and to our surroundings. Not as an autonomous block or a vacuum-sealed object, but as physically situated and embedded individuals who are continuously negotiating their participation and withdrawal of the realities in which we are always both affected and effected. We do make a difference by choosing this and not doing that, but at the same time, our realities are co-authored by others – sites, situations, persons and structural settings. To quote Merleau-Ponty: ”We have no way of knowing what a picture or a thing is other than by looking at them, and their significance is revealed only if we look at them from a certain point of view, from a certain distance and in a certain direction, in short, only if we place, at the service of the spectacle, our collusion with the world.” (2004, 499) Now what do we see, what are confronted with in the exhibition of Hans Hemmert? I will focus on two works in the display, an installation made of thousands of air balloons and a video work mixing drawings and film footage into a unique movie of its own. Let us first deal with the installation. An installation that has a name that tells a few hard facts of the piece. It is called a German Panther. And yes, in a certain sense, it is a German Panther. Not a weird and scary cloned version of the animal called Panther that has in some way become “German”. Instead, the title refers to the famous military vehicle, a standard classic in its own category of tanks. With this work, there is the time before, and there is the time after. However, what is also very vital, there is also the specific time in-between these. And no, I am not talking about ideas or interpretations, or even yet connotations, I am talking about the real thing. İ am talking about the physical presence of these three time perspectives that co-exist simultaneously. What comes “before” is the object that you normally purchase for your sisters or brothers kids. This is the logic of giving a gift here, because you are not allowed to buy it for your own kids (military toys being next to poison, right). It is a tank as in a playful children’s toy. Some times with more noise, and some times even with respectable ways of motoring and maneuvering through dangerous paths and positions. But yes, all in all, it is a toy that is not that small. These mothers little scarer’s come often in size – with or without liquids – that you could not fit into a bag that you are able to carry into an airplane. Now, what is then the time zone called “after”? This is the thing you actually witness at the exhibition site. It is a modified version of a tank of this particular type. A tank not reproduced by using metal, wood or even porcelain, but with the means of air balloons. For this carefully planned and constructed version of the size of 9.67 x 3.70 x 2.80 there are at strategic use over 2000 items of latex balloons filled with air, coming in colors of red, yellow, blue, white and green. Already now, we can easily start comparing between the physical facts of the “before” and “after”. This is still not news, but it is highly illuminating. Here we have the inter-action between small and large entities, supposedly heavy and indeed very light mass, surface as hard protection and open vulnerability, something dangerous and something silly as their function, something not politically correct and something conspicuously innocent in their ideology. But there is more to this work – precisely in its scales of time. Because due to the physical materiality of which this particular tank is constructed of and with, this “after” has a curiously two-folded time perspective. It is constantly something, and then again something else. It is a wholesome creature as in a work that is meticulously done exactly like that, but it is a work that is slowly but surely changing. Not hesitatingly, but with dedication. Curious enough, we do not really see it, and we do not even hear it. At the best of times, we might become aware of it – aware of the physical fact that the constitution of an air balloon is that it holds air in it, but not for ever. With these types of very common first of May office party balloons, their life expectancy is not longer than four months. Thus, in only four months, lets count, that’s about 120 days, which again is about 2880 hours … (the amount of minutes, seconds and nano-seconds you can safely count yourself at home) the once glorious battle tank is automatically shrank into a nasty bundle of plastic that looks like the vomit of the great Hulk. But what about that time in-between before (toy tank) and after (installation with over 2000 air balloons)? Yes, I almost forgot it. It is a time that is also well documented in the catalogue, and documented in a fashion that allows us to connect the links between then as in an emerging idea and now as in mounted installation. Surprising or not, there is the physical beingness of this in-between as a model that in the realest of the real terms stands in the middle of the tank as a toy and the tank as a work of art. But it is a physical entity that happens to be true to its own project: it despises, it laughs at our habits of the heart and our expectations of the connection between size and matter. This middle player is the smallest of them all. Made out of wooden beads, it strongly reminds us of the technical devices we used before someone came up with the invention that almost killed the art of counting with fingers – that is, the pocket calculator. But these colorful beads are really like the ones from the pre-historic counting tables called Abacus. However, what’s remarkable with them is not where they are from, but how they create and generate an imaginary play of what they are serving for. On their own, they are not much to mention. But oh boy, when we realize their importance and weight for the story, and when we know their role in the physical act of leading the artist from them to there, we cannot but be amazed. Again, we get a lovely list of seemingly opposites. We get the question of size turned upside-down, we get the element of weight confusing us with its implementations – and yes, we get the whole pleasure of seeing, feeling and enjoying of the physical facts between this and that, a model and the realization of an imagination that has an distinguished point of beginning but which leads us into a work of art in which that authentic starting point is only something that bears the hints of a shadow of a smile. What we get, as participants in the experiences with the huge air balloon tank, is something more. We get the seconds of a motion. Not second guessing or dubious doubt, but as in the extra time to join joyfully into this participatory experience. We get shadow boxing, we get the whole intellectual game based on our physical presence of now you see it, and now you don’t, now you get it, and now you don’t care about comprehending it at all. Instead, you are, then and there, in the moment of singular beingness that cannot remain and cannot be repeated. A singularity you take with you as sensual and physical memory. But hold on. There was another work. A video, right. Yes, thanks again for reminding me. As you have noticed, my memory works like a lazy bored croupier: it serves but does not challenge. A work called Porsche, 2003, that rightly demands to be written with the contact and connection to the constellation of air balloons as in a tank. In this video, we get into a groove that is not unlike with the work with a name that animal rights activist get very furious about. The inner logic is strikingly close to the mental home country of the artist, and especially his quite unbelievable ability to question and to play with our experiences with physical facts and objects. With Porsche, the artist takes himself the leading role in doing what comes to us naturally: he destroys. He does what every self-respecting person in our consumer-crazy, one size fits all instrumentalized market driven totalitarian system does. He picks us a status symbol and goes on about it with some deep and serious deconstructing. And no, this is not deconstructing as in writing to the marginals, and it is not deconstructing as in nodding your head like a maniac as if you would understand what this philosophical coliseum means, and no, it is not even deconstruction as in falling asleep in a seminar room. It is deconstruction as in a means of showing how the pen is mightier than the sword. What we see is a man in action. He sees a yellow, obviously extremely expensive car and he starts remolding it. He takes a hammer, and he hammers hard. Oh man how hard does he hammer. Not once, not twice, he does it over and over again. This particular case of human being is pretty angry. But he does not look angry. He acts cool and non-chalant, carefully going on about what he set to do – destroying something that annoys the hell out of him. Before you call the neighborhood thought police, please read this. His hammering is not the actual hammering of breaking things. He hammers as in a motion picture made with drawings – using the technique of placing together drawn and filmed material. And yes, this material is highly convincing, and its credibility is extended by the way it is shown to us in a miniscule video screen where you practically have to move straight towards it and to look “into” the image to see what, where and how is taking place and becoming a new kind of site and place. A work, which is asking us to join in and make a mess. A symbolic and satisfactory mess, that is. Where does the experiences with German Panther and Porsche leave us? Don’t know about you, but me, well, they leave me happy – violently happy. With them, I have had the fortune to see, feel and be differently. Not because someone has forced me to it, but because the artist has lured me into a magnificently clever and beautiful, physically challenging game of scales, time zones and perspectives of playful interpretations. A sensation that sets me on a circle that feels not like repetition but like a magical movement with a particular aim of getting into and gaining a specific point view, a singular embedded position. A sensation that allows me to end my mission with the same source I began with. Thus, its time to quote Merleau-Ponty again: „If the object is an invariable structure, it is not one in spite of the changes of the perspective, but in that change or through it.” (2004, 103) Mika Hannula Merleau-Ponty, Maurice, Phenomenology of Perception, Routledge Classics, 2004 (original 1945).
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source: visualnews
Hans Hemmert is fascinated by air and latex balloons in a bright canary yellow. But these aren’t just your average latex inflatables, some fill entire rooms while others surround Hemmert himself. Posing as a giant elongated egg, he performs dances or interacts with the objects outside his elastic bubble.
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source: collateral
Hans Hemmert è un artista appartenente al gruppo tedesco Inges Idee, collettivo creativo impegnato in progetti per spazi pubblici che coinvolgono scultura, interventi architettonici, sound e light design.
Hans Hemmert – Balloon Sculpture
Punto di partenza delle sue opere è l’analisi del luogo in cui crea i suoi interventi, le sua qualità spaziali, sociali e storiche. L’arte pubblica può aprire lo sguardo su altri aspetti della realtà, trasformare un luogo comune in uno spazio inconsueto e straniante che ci spinge a osservare il quotidiano con occhi diversi.
L’aria è il materiale di lavoro di Hans Hemmert. Egli riempie d’aria dei palloni e li sistema nell’ambiente in modo tale che sviluppino delle qualità artistiche. Concepisce i suoi lavori come sculture, nel senso che esse sviluppano un’interazione con lo spazio. È così che grandi palloni gialli vengono compressi tra gli elementi architettonici già presenti, in modo che si deformino. Architettura e scultura, in reciproca dipendenza, ridefiniscono lo spazio in maniera innovativa.
In altri casi è Hemmert stesso a immergersi nelle sue installazioni in cui luoghi e oggetti della vita quotidiana vengono ricoperti dal latex dei suoi balloon. Una sorta di guscio giallo che amalgama l’ambiente rendendolo quasi organico, creando un’atmosfera sterile e indefinibile. Un utero psichedelico.
I suoi palloni si trasformano altre volte in bozzoli elastici, con cui Hemmert crea performance dissacranti. Calato dentro il suo uovo giallo l’artista compie gesti comuni che si trasformano in azioni grottesche e assurde.
“I palloni in lattice di Hans Hemmert non sono forme aeree, sono pesanti, sono colmi di pensieri che si volatilizzerebbero immediatamente nell’aria se si volessero concretizzare. Sono riempiti di concetti fisici, di attesa, di schizzi e di interrogativi degli sguardi esterni. Fanno l’imitazione e fanno “finta di”: ”Anche noi siamo solo degli esseri umani”. Ma in realtà lo sanno esattamente: “Siamo solo noi, i parassiti”. Le condizioni di solitudine, celibato, autoerotismo e feticismo da una parte, l’estetica pop – consumistica e il design dall’altra rendono questi plasmatori degli alieni che oscillano testardamente tra “corpo” e “anima”.
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source: luftmuseumde
HANS HEMMERT (*1960, lebt in Berlin) begnügt sich mit einem Minimum an Material: seine Arbeitsmittel sind in erster Linie Luft und gelbe Latexballons. Diese Ballons zwängt er zwischen architektonische Raumelemente und Gegenstände, so dass sich die prallen Volumina in neue skulpturale Formen verwandeln oder er begibt sich selbst als Akteur in die hermetisch abgeschlossenen Blasen, die wie eine dünne, verletzliche Membran zwischen Individuum und Außenwelt wirken. Im Sinne seiner Auseinandersetzung mit Raum versteht sich Hemmert selbst als Bildhauer und begleitet seinen Schaffensprozess vielfach zeichnerisch, fotografisch und filmisch.
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source: aticogalacticoblogspot
Hans Hemmert es un artista alemán que trabaja obras intra-esculturales en donde el aire es parte clave de su trabajo.
Desde 1992, el látex amarillo has sido el elemento esencial de las obras inmateriales por las cuales empezó a ser reconocido.
Su posición artística es profundamente conceptual; llega a soluciones espaciales motivado por los aspectos formales de su trabajo escultórico. Al transformar lo familiar, provoca una sensación de inseguridad respecto a los hálitos de nuestra existencia y al mismo tiempo invita a reflejarnos en la relación con nuestro entorno.
Consigue así un cierto tipo de arte crítico mezclado con un toque de humor.