Methods of Destruction
written by Galerie Conrads
Distanz Verlag | ISBN 9783942405966
Hardback – 176 pages
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"Ghostly Sceneries and Inscrutable Apparitions. Jana Gunstheimer (b. Zwickau 1974; lives and works in Jena) draws on the world as a reservoir of undiscovered possibilities, ferreting out what is concealed and mysterious. Reality turns out, in her art, to be a conglomerate of labyrinthine spaces and fantastic stories. Fact and fiction can no longer be clearly separated. Gunstheimer spent the year 2010 as a fellow at Villa Massimo, Rome. The city became for her the point of departure and source of motifs for drawings, objects, and environments in which the omnipresence of the Catholic Church, with its belief in miracles and its outlandish legends, plays a particular role. In her most recent series of pictures, "Methods of Destruction" (2011-12), she documents what seem to be historic precedents of the symbolic destruction of art. Yet the destructive act remains an imagination that is realized only in Gunstheimer's drawings: the watercolor by Paul Klee is safe and sound; Anselm Feuerbach's painting "Nanna as Virginia" remains undamaged. Gunstheimer's works always operate with possible truths, deftly taking up past or contemporary events and spinning them out, with striking logical consistency, into the realm of invention. In so doing, they employ the means of irony and black humor in such subtle doses that the artist's confabulations, rather than appearing to the naked eye, operate in this play of absurdities as brilliant moments of artistic irritation and amusement. This monograph presents Jana Gunstheimer's works in pencil as well as some earlier installations. With essays by Magdalena Kr ner and Vanessa Joan M ller."
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