Christian Bazant-Hegemark / Hollerei Galerie, Wien
Considering the Circular Topology of Clouds
July 18 - September 1, 2017
Christian Bazant-Hegemark (* 1978) shows his current paintings and graphics. Apart from using traditional oil painting and drawings, he now also uses more radical, media-based transformation processes. He investigates how traditional painting topics operate when referencing the contemporary world of media , and when they appropriate its formal codes.
Being unsatisfied with the possibilities of digital image editing, Bazant-Hegemark developed his own image abstraction software (enabling unusual fragmentarizations and transformations, and the calculation of a virtual third dimension from 2d images). The results are an integral part of his current image conception. Apart from these algorithmic image modifications, Bazant-Hegemark started to digitize images manually (“pixeling”), strongly referencing 1990s video game aesthetics, and resulting in the works’ surreal spin.
The exhibition centers works that transform iconic images in this multifold way (oftentimes depictions of suffering, authorized by media awards): photojournalistic sources get pixeled manually, abstracted algorithmically, edited in standard image editing software, printed on fabric and opened up to a traditional oil painting process.
Bazant-Hegemark operates in an expanded contemporary painting mode, caring about understanding the capacity of visual media to depict and express. Today’s post-factual media lost its authenticity - having exchanged it with self-referential journalistic networks, for which images only matters as surface: as effect and commodity. There is no more relying on an image’s accuracy: in media, reality and fiction lost their distance. As a result, contemporary mimetic painting is in an unkown situation: it can create, simulate and appropriate, but can only imagine actual authenticity in depicting things happen outside of painting.