Franz Ehrenberg

Lebt und arbeitet in Dresden, Deutschland


2018, Oil on canvas, 155 x 95 cm


2018, Oil on canvas, 90 x 40 cm


In the reflection of a windowpane, the boundaries of the inside and outside blur into surreal scenarios. Based on this natural phenomenon, humans and space, explored in a painterly context, encounter each other free of rules and patterns as equal actors in surreal snapshots. Their emergence and understanding is subject to an active process of knowledge that involves deconstruction and construction.
The traditional painterly motifs of man and space meet in a theatrical narrative structure. The actor and the location are consciously staged and inseparably linked elements of a story. Man explains space, space explains man – only this dualism establishes the character and mood of a work. The wandering eye collects fragile snapshots that threaten to evaporate. Detached from the dimension of time, space gets rid of its purely physical existence and becomes symbol, abstraction, and feeling. Time is irrelevant; the snapshots grow together in a dynamic overlay that dissolves rational parameters such as time and distance. The motifs are everyday situations, public spaces, houses, rooms and people – scenes and memories that are characterized by a partly eerie, morbid atmosphere. These bizarre and surreal moments use actors and places as stereotypes in an everyday absurdity that is misunderstood as banal. The stereotype simplifies the world into patterns and rules that automate associations and judgments. This superficial association process is disturbed by
the unexpected intimacy of the moment, the pause and the vulnerability that elevates the actor to the tangible individual. The identification with a fundamental need for purpose elicits longing and loneliness. The direct superposition of the motifs disturbs the known habits of seeing in patterns and rules, it creates unrest and confusion. A dynamic that forces the viewer to receipt and interpret in an active and autonomous process. The breakup of superficiality becomes physically tactile, it becomes a physical act in search of intimacy. The relationship between the resolution of themes and levels, on the one hand, and the definition and degree of detail on the other, extends the originally cinematic scenario by the phenomenological examination of humans and space.

The superposition of several image fragments happens through the breaking up of the image levels. The focus is on the painterly process as a physical act of revealing and concealing, which creates a physically tactile layering of the image planes by means of soft brush application or hard spatulas and free scratching. In the experimental work with color, the coarse or delicate, the thick and flat or thin and transparent application of paint becomes a sensory overload and a means of expression of dealing with rules and patterns. The variable degree of differentiation and degree of detail of the elements allow objectivity and abstraction to flow together. Form and colorfulness as highest power rule over the distinctiveness of the pictorial elements; for example, the heights and depths of the actor‘s extensively applied skin can move freely between the motif levels and become part of an architectural element. The hierarchy of spatial depth is resolved. The reduction to color, shape, surface and light frees elements from their level affiliation and requires a subjective construction process, which combines themes in content. The construction requires the constant deconstruction of elements and motives, of hypotheses and ideas. The principle of negation, meaning deconstruction, is imperative for the functioning of the world. Destruction becomes equivalent to creation. This process of negation becomes painterly tactile, the viewer witnesses the deconstruction and part of the construction. The sorting, the confusion, the reordering, understanding and calming become an individual cognitive process.


2017, Oil on canvas, 160 x 140 cm


is a Walk-in video-installation for theater project with artist Franz Ehrenberg (video), set designer Grit Dora von Zeschau (room) and sound artist Christoph Herrmann (sound) in December 2016 at Theater Junge Generation Dresden. Conception and realization of four related live action films presented on forty cathode ray tube screens.

Um das Video zu sehen, einfach auf das Bild klicken!

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