© Ulrich Sack 2017

„The artist himself presenting, discussing his work“: this always appears tome somewhat strange when it is on display as it is here, since I cannot express myself more precisely.

Yet, the urge for explanation of what may be found hanging on walls is as old as art, and, at least partly, appreciative.

“… The artist’s first organization, his basic education and training, his era, his spear of action and his place of residence, all collaborate closely to bring forth in him a specific mood, to plant into his soul in a defined and confined way amalgams of ideas to reign his phantasy, which consequently may have a very different effect on any looker-on....”  Thus, approximately 200 years ago, in 1790, the writer Georg Forster put it down in Düsseldorf, during a journey along the lower Rhine, which he undertook with Alexander von Humbold.

So, I will try somehow to satisfy the need for explanation, letting Georg Forster aid me again. In his “Views of the Lower Rhine”, in the chapter headed  ‘Antwerpen’ , one can read on the ‘mechanics of painting’: “… Concerning the artists, one cannot often enough repeat that nature’s true imitation is not the aim but solely a means of art; that probability shall count more than truth, as works of art are not nature’s creatures but creations of human intelligence, poetry; that the perfection of these mind-born offsprings will be felt more intimately the more inscrutable and the more vivid the individuality of their entirety will be; finally, that beauty is to remain their complete outer coinage as at the same time their intrinsic soul. ..”

Without regard to lasting discussions of the term beauty, it is still valid that art does not imitate, nor finds anything, but creates something: finds out; that by making use of anything found, something will originate which is self-reliant; that this is a game of demiurges.

So, I play: by making use of lines and specks on paper or on canvas; investigating them, intensifying, varying, repeating or painting over them. In the end, there will be – in musical terms – a polyphonic proximity and promiscuity of different voices: at times one will have the lead, at other times another; once in a while it will appear to be a lascivious cacophony.

I make use of found and invented symbols, chifffres, to express myself: awkwardly, sinister – meaning firstly: by using the ‘other’, the left hand; secondly, not submissive to general rule, withstanding expectations: in a most alien manner. Each image is always the implicated and necessary reaction to what was before, and it calls for and implicates its successor. No line will mean more than what in fact it is; none will ever serve as an illustration of any known concept (for example: ‘tree’) nor of any other object.

A contemporary citation: “… The player does not want to acquire might, he wants (to) play, this interaction of chance and rules. Facing the promise of death, the sole reliable basis is absurdity, and all moves are countermoves, moves opposing death. In front of the dark horizon, human creativity appears as a futile attempt to show a bold front to death, and at the same time to give meaning to what is meaningless. To play is the decision not any longer to look for a meaning but to design it. …” The philosopher Vilem Flusser chose to put it this way.

It also is the breakneck exploit to stay in suspense: partly next to the abyss, partly right over it – the demiurge: a Daedalus.

The paintings and drawing, finally, are nothing but visible consequences of this highly subjective enterprise; essential as proofs, as documents of the incessant process; that what falls away, and: to be handed out, to be given away. As well as, of course, the invitation to have a look, to comprehend, to sympathize – to take them as tickets for a trip into their author’s phantasy; to take this risk yourself : to play, however, in your own way.