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Photokinetiks, or a Short Guide for the Construction of Meaning at WiE Kultur in Berlin
Frank Hülsbömer, Constructing Meaning in 3 Steps, 2010.

BERLIN.- Can geometrical forms be something else from what they actually are? If yes, could they serve as basis for a new vade mecum apt to instruct us on how to construct meaning? This last question is the leading theme of "a short guide for the construction of meaning", the exhibition presenting the new works of Berlin based artist Frank Hülsbömer.

Using photography and video as art media, Hülsbömer depicts a parallel universe inhabited by minimally structured surfaces and forms in which all contradictions are admitted and - sometimes - happily unified. The artist's way of treating objects is both poetical and playful: it seems as though he is taking a step back in order to allow his objects to live and to develop their own life. Hülsbömer does not want to disturb the scenery he is looking at. Indeed, it appears as if the artist has just limited himself to the mere observation of the aesthetic scene he is in front of and then named it by taking recourse to his elegant and characteristic sense of irony.

At first sight, Hülsbömer's dynamic depictions of objects can arouse suspicions of just being computer renderings or 3D computer graphics. However his work surprisingly is subject to no other intervention except for the pure instrument of photography and the simple act of filming. Due to the clarity and minimalism of the work and the artist’s striking virtuosity of photographic technique, the viewer is led to think that Hülsbömer wants to reach a sort of visual perfection. Hülsbömer himself says that there is no attempt of portraying perfection in his work: “Perfection is just an idea, which people can only aim at.” Hülsbömer is attempting to demystify and simplify the phenomena of reality through a continuous reference to the dualism permeating our human experience.

In this attempt of simplification and demystification one is able to recognize a connection between Hülsbömer’s work and the artistic production of the group active in Germany in the decade before and aſter the WWII, known as Subjective Photography. The photographers belonging to this movement - Peter Keetman, Wolfgang Reisewitz, Otto Steinert and their students - were interested in pursuing a visual purism obtained through the exercise of formalist imagery.

Hülsbömer gives the results achieved within the Subjective Photography a new twist. This is made possible by the very personal interpretation of the media used to portray the geometric shapes by the artist who is not bound to the mere use of photography but crosses over to video art achieving a further fragmentation and reduction of the represented objects. Hülsbömer's original use of Photokinetiks, reminding the viewer of a zoetrope, in which the illusion of action comes from a rapid succession of static pictures giving the impression of a “vision held in suspension”, points out the change of the current state of affairs within the scenery intended by the artist as a metaphor for the human condition. Hülsbömer’s Photokinetiks has a narrative value that, although detached from the perceptual world and characterized by an extreme simplification, allows the spectator to reach a deeper understanding of reality which appears lyrical in its elementariness.

a short guide for the construction of meaning focuses on the strong tension between chance and science. This is a recurring theme in Hülsbömer’s work, already present, indeed, in his book The Fiction of Science. However, in his new work the artist shows an enhanced and matured treatment of the topic, which reaches a full-fledged mastery.

Borrowing from Gottlob Frege, Hülsbömer's works investigate the areas of sense and meaning, establishing a playful relationship with them: Can it be possible to find an unchangeable rule that allows humans to construct meaning? Is Hülsbömer in possession of it? The elegance, balance and minimalism that characterize his work seem to answer positively.

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Photokinetiks, or a Short Guide for the Construction of Meaning at WiE Kultur in Berlin

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