A collection of poems & drawings edited by Anne Fellner.
Publication launched May 31, 2014
Sub Rosa is based on the concept of an autograph book or the more popular German “Poesiealbum”, a small book or loosely bound collection of pages for collecting sentimental mementos such as poems, sketches, quotes or simply autographs from friends, family members and colleagues. A simple password is required to view the book. The password is “Rose”.
The Latin phrase “sub rosa”, in English “beneath the rose” means: in secret, privately. All contributors were invited via personal invitation to send a submission of their choice for the publication. The resulting collection features works of 59 individuals – friends, family members, poets and visual artists. A publication launch was held at Rosengarten in the park Humboldthain in Berlin.
Sub Rosa features works by
Alex Turgeon, Alex Vivian, Alina Gregorian, Allison Katz, Annie Pearlman, Antoine Renard, Armen Eloyan, Aude Pariset, Bunny Rogers, Burkhard Beschow, Célestin Krier, Christian Oldham, Christopher LG Hill, Clémence de La Tour du Pin, Clemens Reinecke, Cosima zu Knyphausen, David Rappeneau, Edward Marshall Shenk, Emma Talbot, Erik Stinson, Felix Amerbacher, Florent Dubois, Hanna Hur, Harry Burke, Honza Zamojski, Inga Kerber, Inger Wold Lund, J. Gordon Faylor, Jaakko Pallasvuo, Jennifer Chan, John Henry Newton, Jordan Kasey, Joshua Abelow, Joyce Depue, Karolina A., Katherine Botten, Katherine Poe, Keith J. Varadi, Kristina Lee, Lauren Cook, Leslie Weibeler, Lina Leang Chung, Luis Vassallo, Johannes Kaufmann + Manuel Stehli, Marisa Takal, Mary Wichmann, Maximilian Roganov, Michael O’Mahony, Nicholas Verstraeten, Nick Payne, Odayaka, Olivia Dunbar, Pia Christmann, Sanya Kantarovsky, Sigtryggur Berg Sigmarsson, Stephen Booth, Tom Fellner, Vincent de Hoÿm and and Vittorio Brodman
Names featured in our manoeuvres
It must have been summer. I bought a few canvases and some acrylic paint. Then I cleared a corner in the living room and started to paint. It was terrible. I am not talking about the act of putting paint on canvas. No, that was great actually. I am talking about the paintings. I threw them in the garbage when I moved away that winter.
Years later I thought: did my true life-purpose elude me back then? Could I have been, unconsciously, a master of the craft? Am I not a painter-like character?
Walter Benjamin’s writings on materialist theology describe the messianic kingdom as exactly the same as our world, but with a “small adjustment” of everything. In Meeting, Hendrik Niefeld asks a mundane question that takes him on a significantly less mundane quest: “what if everything had been slightly different and I had become a painter?”
The publication critically reflects on art practice, by committing itself to a radical thought experiment. It is just as much a meeting with the five selected artists as it is a meeting with the author himself, as each of the interviewed subjects reflects – and not just statistically (they are all young, white males) – the self-satisfying psychoanalytic journey of understanding oneself through others. Meeting begins with a selfie.
The curation of materials is also a psychological undertaking: each interviewee is asked to arrange a selection of works by other artists, and fill out a kind of identification form. From this we get a sample of their idiosyncratic handwriting, a window into their thought process. In fact, for all the focus on painting, we see few uncontextualized images of the artists’ painted works. The content of the short interviews becomes quite crucial, while the artists divulge their distinctive working habits that might provide the key, for Niefeld, to their painterly personalities.
Conor Backman discusses the problems of translation inherent in documentation, Clemens Reinecke muses on envy and temptation, while Israel Lund’s responses remain empty in an elusive gesture. In each case, the painter grapples with or integrates the unavoidable omnipresence of the internet. As Meeting is only available online, digital translation and the cult of the artist are central themes that, when addressed, bring renewed relevance to painting as an escapist contemporary medium.
As with other publications by Info Punkt, like the Bonus Material series, the documentation is aesthetically crude. Images of the artists’ studios appear typically cluttered – the process is revealed without intervention or glorification of the craft. Rather, we get a sense of the banalities of the everyday, those elements that hold the promise of a small adjustment, a potentially different reality – not necessarily better but different. A world in which Hendrik Niefeld was a painter.
Clemens Reinecke, Conor Backman, Israel Lund, Travess Smalley and Jochen Plogsties interviewed by Hendrik Niefeld, accompanied with a text by Alison Hugill
PDF – 11,5 MB – 85 pages – English and German – Published December 6th, 2014