【台北·敦仁】Beyond Light 光徑- Hans Kotter 漢斯·卡特 亞洲首個展 3.20 -5.16

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預告片  Trailer

藝術家影片Artist Video

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“Beyond Light 光徑”

— Hans Kotter 漢斯.卡特 亞洲首個展

「沒有比光更深刻影響我們這個星球的元素,沒有光,我們將生活在一個沒有形狀、沒有色彩的世界。我試著在其中,尋找複雜地且具可視性的藝術形式。」
– Hans Kotter 漢斯·卡特
 
 
自16世紀始,西方藝術史中的光與藝術,便一直藝術家探討的議題,到攝影藝術發展、21世紀大城市無所不在炫目的霓虹燈、燈光科技,燈光也成為設計領域中,影響生活的重要項目。藝術評論家John Berger曾在《觀看的視界》(The Sense of Sight) 描述:「光是能量的形式,是所有生命的泉源。」眼睛攔截了光線與吸收、反射光的表面產生無盡的交流,兩者發生關係,在可見物中發現意義。「光」在各種媒材中扮演了重要角色。Bluerider ART推出全新燈光藝術展 「Beyond Light 光徑」即呈現藝術家Hans Kotter 漢斯·卡特,如何以燈光,這個日常通俗且不可或缺的媒材,創作色彩繽紛且超乎視覺空間想像的燈光藝術作品。
 
 
從小受到未來派畫家Umberto Boccioni以及 Op Art 歐普藝術Victor Vasarely吸引,藝術家 Hans Kotter 漢斯·卡特,一路的創作脈絡是複雜多元的。他不斷嘗試各種可能,從具象的繪畫到攝影、從觀念藝術到裝置藝術,反映出些許現代藝術流派的身影,像是歐普藝術(Op Art)的幻視,利用光學特性營造奇異的視覺效果,用特殊的線條、色彩排列組合造成視覺錯覺,或是低限主義(Minimalism)強調從材料的物性出發,呈現物件的真實樣貌,而非表現文化屬性,開放作品自身在概念上的限制,讓觀眾自主參與對作品的建構。 Hans Kotter漢斯·卡特認為公共藝術扮演著重要任務,是讓空間成為藝術過程的重要元素,他樂於邀請觀眾參與其中,期待讓觀眾在過程中感受到快樂。

Umberto Boccioni, Volumi Orizzontali, 1911-1912


Victor Varsarely, Zebra, 1937, 52 x 60 cm

Victor Varsarely, Zebra, 1937, 52 x 60 cm

Umberto Boccioni, The street enters the house, 1912, Oil on canvas, 100cm × 100.5 cm (Sprengel Museum, Hanover, Germany) , 未來主義頌揚現代科技、速度、動力和革命,認為藝術應表現出動力的感受

Victor Vasarely, Vega-Do, 1970, Acrylic on cardboard, 80 x 80 cm, 歐普藝術(Op Art)的幻視,利用光學特性營造奇異的視覺效果,用特殊的線條、色彩排列組合造成視覺錯覺

François Morellet, Pier and Ocean, 2014, 低限主義(Minimalism)強調從材料的物性出發,呈現物件的真實樣貌,而非表現文化屬性,開放作品自身在概念上的限制,讓觀眾自主參與對作品的建構

Still Lifes, 6 Glass Cases Metal Resin Plexiglas Finds Wood, Galerie Benden & Klimczak, Cologne, Germany 1999

Balance, Luminous Foil and Inverter,  Shunt, Courtesty Kinetica Museum Londn, 2008

Big Bang, Interruption, Metal, Wood, Plesiglas, Mirror LED, De Buck Gallery, NY, 2014

Point of View, Plexiglas, LED, Metal, DMX Controller, 2017

Bluerider ART “Beyond Light 光徑- Hans Kotter 漢斯·卡特” 2021亞洲首個展,展出其近年不同系列作品:Cliffs 及Shifting structure系列,以幾何元素呈現無限重複的光影;Double view系列,展示具有節奏感的圖形雕塑,觀眾需要仔細檢查,才能分辨虛實。針對「光線」在「空間」本身之轉介,過去的 「光」是為了反射物體表面,而進入到人類眼睛產生的「光譜」,而在Kotter卡特 作品中,「光」成為本體,不為任何圖案或對象而生,它產生炫目的色澤,無重量地懸浮在空中及牆面,擁有自主性。人造光,縱使在固定框架中,它的任務是給予空間更多的延伸。

Shifting Structure (Hexagon), 127 cm x 74 cm, 2020, 1+1AP, Video Screen, Plexiglas, Mirror, metal

Cliffs, 130 cm x 85 cm, 2018-19, AP_2+1AP, Metal, LED, DMX-Controller and Plexiglas

Double view, 2012, 90x60cm, 2AP_3+2AP, Plexigals, mirror, metal, LED color change, Remote

如同一位「白晝與黑暗的光行者」,Hans Kotter漢斯·卡特運用光的結構,將觀眾的視線拓展到新的高度。在白晝中,極簡雕塑呈現著純粹、乾淨的極致美感。而在黑暗中,是一種具世俗洞察力的隱喻。白晝與黑暗中竄流的光徑,允諾每個人勇於詮釋的自由。

藝術家Artist


Hans Kotter 漢斯·卡特

 (Germany, b. 1966)

出生於德國巴伐利亞邦,就讀紐約藝術學院(Art Students League of New York) 畢業於慕尼黑媒體設計學院。現創作居住於柏林。2004年被授予「德國巴伐利亞文化獎」Bavarian Culture Award, E-ON藝術建築領域獎項。Kotter以燈光雕塑裝置創作為人所知。曾任德國斯圖加特國家藝術與設計學院講師,2014年獲得德國國際Unna燈光藝術中心的國際燈光獎項提名。德國著名藝術史學家Kai-Uwe Hemken 評論Hans Kotter 漢斯·卡特 作品:「Kotter 卡特 為觀者提供了作品的維度,是批判性、自我反省、與洞察導向,同時重新呈現了現代主義的基本烏托邦。」德國知名策展人暨藝術評論家Peter Lodermeyer則形容Hans Kotter 漢斯·卡特作品「充滿光的形式與鏡面平滑的作品,總是閃閃發光地乾淨與純粹」。Hans Kotter 漢斯·卡特目前持續在各國博物館展出,包括德國里特博物館、英國倫敦Kinetica博物館、德國科隆應用藝術博物館、德國科隆MAKK博物館..等。作品由義大利TARGETTI光之藝術典藏、德國立陶宛博物館、德國聯邦議會等眾多機構永久收藏。

Hans Kotter 於2020年3.11-4.26 於德國科隆應用藝術博物館(MAKK- MUSEUM OF APPLIED ARTS COLOGNE)展出個展 “Light- Colour- Space“

Hans Kotter 參與2018年突尼斯國際燈光藝術節 Interference

Hans Kotter 2016年於 德國 Museum Ritter 展出

Hans Kotter 2013年於 維也納Kubus Export 展出

Hans Kotter 2008年於倫敦地鐵站 London Bridge Station 舉辦 Kinetica Museum, London開幕特展

Tunnel View “Down Under”, Plexiglas, Metal, Mirror, LED Light with Colour Changes, 2011 (Museum Ritter收藏)

Hans Kotter 2008年於倫敦地鐵站 London Bridge Station 舉辦 Kinetica Museum, London開幕特展

私人收藏 Private Collection

媒體報導 Press

Hans Kotter 

Germany, b.1966

2014 Nominated for the International Light Award, Centre for International Light Art Unna, Germany

2007 – 13 Lecturer at State Academy of Art and Design Stuttgart, Germany

2011 Artist in Residence, Art Radionica Lazareti, Dubrovnik, Croatia

2004 Bavarian Culture Award (E-ON), Germany

2001 – 03 MediaDesign Akademie Munich, Germany

1993 – 94 Art Students League, New York, studied with Bruce Dorfman und William Scharf

Selected Solo Exibitions

2021 Bluerider ART, Taipei, Taiwan, Beyond Light

2020 De Buck Gallery, New York, MAKK: Selections

2020 Light, Colour, Space, Museum of Applied Art, Cologne, Germany

2020 Futurs Antérieurs, La Chapelle, Chaumont – FR

2020 Regards d’Artistes, Château d’Aunoy, Champeaux – FR

2019 The Invisible Generation, Galerie Pascal Janssens / Keyes Art Mile,

Johannesburg – SA Crackography, Galerie Pascal Janssens, Gand – BE

2018 Leuchtende Unendlichkeit / Luminous Infinity, Galerie Michaela Stock, Vienna, Austria

2018 More Light, Stern-Wywiol Galerie, Hamburg

2017 Point of View, Patrick Heide Contemporary Art, London, Great Britain

2016 Beyond light, Samuelis Baumgarte Galerie, Bielefeld, Germany

2015 Beyond light, Bildraum 07, Vienna, Austria

2014 Light Flow, Galerie Nery Marino, Paris, France

2014 Interruption, De Buck Gallery, New York City, NY, United States

2013 Superposition, Galerie Michaela Stock, Vienna, Austria

2013 Replaced – light flow, Kubus Export, Vienna, Austria

2013 Light flow, Osthaus Museum Hagen, Hagen, Germany

2012 Home sweet home, Galerie Klaus Benden, Cologne, Germany

2012 In the flux, Galerie Nery Marino, Paris, France

2011 Light flow, Patrick Heide Contemporary Art, London, Great Britain

2011 Light sensitive, De Buck Gallery, New York, United States

2011 Point of view, Priveekollektie, Heusden aan de Maas, Netherlands

2011 Deflection, Studio d’Arte Contemporanea Pino Casagrande, Rome, Italy

2010 Transformation, Priveekollektie, Heusden aan de Maas, Netherlands

2009 Replaced, Patrick Heide Contemporary Art, London, Great Britain

2009 Replaced, Galerie Michaela Stock, Vienna, Austria, (catalogue)

2008 The very best…, Gallery Benden & Klimczak, Cologne, Germany

2008 Balance, Shunt London, Great Britain, with Kinetica Museum London, Great Britain

2008 Colour rush, Gallery Bernd Lausberg, Toronto, Canada

2007 Ccolour rush, Patrick Heide Contemporary Art London, Great Britain, (catalogue)

2006 Luminale Frankfurt, Germany – Biannual light culture festival, with Patrick Heide

Contemporary Art London, Great Britain

2006 Licht Farbe Raum, Gallery Bernd Lausberg, Düsseldorf, Germany

2005 Chromatic impulse, Berlinische Galerie with Company Spectral, Germany

2004 Balance, Raum für Kunst/Art space, Art Association Ravensburg, Germany

2004 Illuminations, Aedes, Berlin, Germany

2004 Macro landscape, Patrick Heide Contemporary Art, London, Great Britain

2003 Lichtecht/lightfast, Patrick Heide Contemporary Art, Frankfurt, Germany

2002 Light and colour, Bezirks Galerie Oberbayern/Gallery District Upper Bavaria,

Munich, Germany

2002 Beauty in plastic, City Museum Neuötting, Germany

2001 Blue line, Factory Pasinger, Munich, Germany

1999 Stillleben, Gallery Benden & Klimczak, Cologne, Germany

1998 Spurensicherung, City Gallery in the House of Culture, Waldkraiburg,

Germany

1997 Diary with sound-collage, Modern Theatre Munich, Germany

1997 Tagebuchnotizen, Gallery Hofmeisterhaus, Massing/Rottal, Germany

1994 Body language, Radio centre of Bratislava, Slovakia

1993 Stadtmuseum Waldkraiburg, Waldkraiburg, Germany

1993 Daydreams, Chuck Levitan Gallery, New York, United States

Collections

MAKK Museum, Cologne, Germany

Targetti Light Art Collection, Italy

Collection of the German Federal Parliament, Germany

Museum Ritter, Germany

Osthaus Museum, Germany

Kunstmuseum Celle, Germany

Villa Datris, Fonds pour la Sculpture Contemporaine, France

Borusan Art Collection, Turkey

Collection Fidelity Investment, United Kingdom & United States

Collection DEKA Bank, Germany

Collection Candy & Candy Hyde Park One, United Kingdom

Collection Ron Dennis, United Kingdom

Kinetica Museum, United Kingdom

Collection Jean et Colette Cherqui, France

Collection Ichikowitz, South Africa

Collection Aareal Bank, Germany

Collection Jan des Bouvrie, Netherlands

Collection Heubeck, Cologne, Germany

Topping Rose House’s Collection, Bridghampton, New York

Collection Gerald and Jody Lippes, Naples, FL, USA

University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX

AT&T Collection, Dallas, Texas

Public Art

2010   Warburg Pincus, Frankfurt, Germany

2009 Aareal Bank, Hamburg, Germany

2007 Booz Allen Hamilton GmbH, Berlin, Germany

Hotel Maximilian, Nürnberg, Germany

School in Bavaria, Germany

2005 Immobilien Investment Frankfurt, Skyper, Frankfurt, Germany

Derag AG, Hotel Kanzler, Bonn, Germany

2004 E-ON Bayern Regensburg, administration building, Regensburg, Germany

              Neuga Bauträge, object at Burghauser-Tor, Neuötting, Germany

2003      DEKA Immobilien Investment Frankfurt, Leomax, Munich, Germany

Staatliches Hochbauamt Rosenheim, land surveying office, Germany

1999 Passauer Neue Presse, media center, Passau, Germany

1998 Stadt Burghausen, community center, Burghausen, Germany

Passauer Neue Presse, editorial office, Passau, Germany

1997 Wochenblatt Burghausen, editorial office, Burghausen, Germany

藝評Art Critique


Kai-Uwe Hemken

德國著名藝術史學家,現任教於歷史悠久的卡塞爾藝術學院,教授藝術史課程,教學重點領域包括古典前衛藝術和當代藝術,許多於該校任教的教師本身即是享有盛譽的藝術家。1993 起先後在馬爾堡菲利普斯大學、魏瑪包豪斯大學獲得藝術史博士學位。曾於德國杜塞道夫 K20 現代美術館、魏瑪新美術館、漢諾威史賓格美術館、荷蘭愛因荷芬範.阿貝美術館等國際博物館擔任策展人,展覽策畫經歷遍及紐約及德國各大城市,並在藝術史和美學教學中持續引入虛擬現實技術,以此獲得黑森州高等教育卓越教學獎。

擴散、匯集、反射,關於 Hans Kotter 作品的直覺見解

Kai-Uwe Hemken

「令人印象深刻的藝術」是適合描述 Hans Kotter 最新作品的標題:活潑鮮艷的立體與壁掛物件,以及結合暗線箱中的鏡子與光線的形式,這些都透過謹慎選擇配置後,定義了整體的空間環境。乍看之下,這些具有鮮艷色彩與視錯覺密實擺放的展品顯現了活潑與天真,為許多辦公大樓中悲傷絕望感的水泥環境增添一抹異於以往的光線。然而,再看第二眼,作品展現出更深且富有意義的維度層次,保證了一種充滿洞察力的世俗「照明」。

反映暗線箱中環形排列的光點閃耀著絕對的技術完美,如作品「Down Under (2011)」所呈現那般。浸沒於淺淺的紅藍色之中,燈光與鏡子的配置形成了更強大的獨特氛圍。眼光不安地在物件所傳遞的深度中游移,不斷地試圖尋找視覺保持點。苦笑著,Kotter 點出了我們人類感知功能的不足之處,使我們的眼睛愉悅地加入他從善如流的活潑「對話」遊戲。然而,光點所形成的隧道,引導觀者的注意力從事實的維度移至隱喻的層次:Kotter 作品中知名的隧道視覺概念,被用來批判感知狹隘與人們對關鍵環境的有限闡釋,而現在更進一步將這樣的概念延伸至無盡地三維環境。閉鎖與開放因此成為至關重要的隱喻,不單只顯現於藝術家近期創作階段的這個單幅作品之中。

從這個觀點來看,Kotter 從上一代的創新美學中更踏上了一階,尤其是與 Victor Vasarely 和 Op Art (歐普藝術) 相關的層面。Vasarely 的興趣在於呈現魔幻效果,他試圖以色彩、形式、與線條來展現成效;因此,他致力於展現視覺刺激與藝術冥想的即刻性,並最終顯現不需具有先備知識的美學。而 Kotter 主張自己從 Vasarely 的傳統中看見自我並從中擴展了視覺刺激領域。儘管 Vasarely 仍然完全遵循著 Minimal Art (極簡藝術) 的精神,他曾經希望能夠禁止藝術意義並運用自身的美學來指引人類感知的侷限性;而這樣的語義與敘述後來回歸至 Kotter 的作品之中—而如此成為了後現代世代之一的典型特徵。

由「Cliffs」與「Chromatic Plants (2009 – 2011)」所組成的一系列攝影作品傳遞出一種令人不安的印象,它們強烈的色調形成了奇異的配置,帶出了一種不確定性:讓人不禁思考這些是人為的還是自然現象?無論如何,這一切並非實際物化的,而是 Kotter 使用傳統攝影機拍攝折射棱鏡光的影像。在此,觀者面對的是藝術家自身的條件反射:在這個數位時代,他希望使用的是以電腦為基礎的形式語言;但最終,該過程始終以類比或手動的方式呈現。如此名副其實的媒體批判概念,造成類比與數位之間的爭論,也同時長期造成繪畫與攝影之間衝突。儘管有技術上的完美詮釋,Kotter 的部份作品仍然顯現出廣泛的繪畫形式。因此,藝術家重新展開了關於藝術流派優勢的長期爭議:以近乎模範的方式,提出了攝影與繪畫之間關於哪種媒介最符合真實的爭論議題:繪畫對於哲學的強大親和力,已在幾世紀以來受到認可;而攝影則是透過物理化學等不會腐蝕敗壞的程序提供了真實的文檔。Kotter 把這個間接提出的問題留給觀者回答。他的圖畫作品同時表現著攝影、新媒體、與繪畫;因此觀者將開始憂思自身感知的可質疑性,進而將每種媒介的可靠性與評估轉化為作品的主題。

另一項困難的因素是 Kotter 使用燈光來創作:在這之中,例如「Replaced (2009 – 2011)」系列作品,光便成為表達的手法。以最廣義的角度來看光藝術歷史,繪畫中的光被解讀為純粹的物理與哲學意義。幻燈片或投影、新媒體技術、攝影與電影現在都與繪畫並存著,這種允許褻瀆之光與聖光同時並存的假設仍然保持著。有時候燈光被運用為圖像與裝置的簡單戲劇輔助,而有時候它則是代表著意義的載體;其主題包含科技烏托邦、人類學、媒體面向的認識論、文化批判,以及與 Robert Delaunay、László Moholy-Nagy、Dan Flavin、Bruce Nauman、James Turrell、和 Mischa Kuball 等人相關的社會科學觀點。這個簡短的歷史速寫不僅反映在 Kotter 媒體批判的彩色照片,也顯示在他的燈光裝置:Kotter 以不同格式的同款燈箱佈置出一排燈光,如同在彩排舞台上通常座落於單色環境或房間一角的位置。這些是被發現的物件—可能是被拋棄在工業區或辦公室外—然後被重新賦予新的意義。就像重寫的羊皮書卷,光體一方面表示它們的原始用途;舉例來說,當它們的樣式看起來讓人聯想起製造環境的燈明設備時,可以因此將它們視為工業生產疏遠工作環境的警告提醒。另一方面,它們也代表著新的物體,提供藝術領域新的或長期被隱藏的訊息。幾乎可以說這代表著社會與文化領域中渴望但從未被實現的目標。這些物件看起來似乎成功地使我們擺脫了社會責任的束縛。Kotter 為觀者提供了作品的這種維度,像是批判性、自我反省、與洞察導向,他還同時重新呈現了現代主義的基本烏托邦。

Kai-Uwe Hemken is Art historian and Professor for Art Science at the School of Art and Design Kassel, Germany. He also curated several Exhibitions about modern Art at the K20 in Düsseldorf, New Museum Weimar, Sprengel Museum Hanover, Van Abbemuseum Eindhoven and other. He lives in Bochum, Germany.

Diffusion, Concentration, Reflection. Intuitive Insight in the Work of Hans Kotter

by Kai-Uwe Hemken

‘Art that impresses the eye’ is a heading that suits the latest works by Hans Kotter: cheerfully colourful three-dimensional and wall-mounted objects, and forms combining mirrors and light in wall-boxes all define the overall spatial context with their sensitively selected placement. At first glance, the compact exhibits with their bright colours and visual illusions suggest cheerfulness and innocence, making the dismal concrete surroundings of many an office building appear in a different light. But a second look reveals a deeper, meaningful dimension, which promises a profane ‘illumination’ full of insight.

Points of light arranged in a ring within a reflecting wall-box shine with absolute technical perfection, as can be seen in the work ‘down under’ (2011). Submerged in bluish or reddish light, the configurations of lights and mirrors develop a more intense atmospheric aura. The eye wanders rather disquieted through the objects’ suggested depth, constantly attempting to find some visual hold. With a wry smile, Kotter highlights the inadequacy of the human perceptual apparatus, our eyes happily joining in his receptive game of lively ‘conversation’. The tunnel formation of these points of light, however, causes the viewer’s attention to wander away from the factual to the metaphorical dimension: in Kotter’s works the well-known concept of tunnel vision, used to criticise a narrowing of perception and one’s limited interpretation of key contexts, is extended into the infinity of three dimensions. Closure and opening thus become vital metaphors, not only in this single work from the artist’s most recent creative phase.

From this perspective Kotter goes a stage further than the aesthetically related innovations of the previous generation, particularly associated with the name Victor Vasarely and with Op Art. Vasarely’s interest lay in illusionist effects, which he attempted to achieve by means of colours, forms and lines; he aimed, therefore, at irritations of vision, at immediacy in the contemplation of art, and ultimately at aesthetics that required no prior knowledge. But Kotter, who claims to see himself within a line of tradition from Vasarely, extends the field of visual irritation. While Vasarely, still entirely in the spirit of Minimal Art, had wished to ban meaning from art and employed his formal aesthetics as a pointer to the limitations of human perception, the semantic and therefore the narrative return in Kotter’s work – which is characteristic, among other things, of the post-modern generation.

The several-part photographic works entitled ‘cliffs’ or ‘chromatic plants’ (2009-2011) convey a disturbing impression. Their powerful colours form strange configurations, which appear indeterminate: are they artificial or natural phenomena? However, they are not materialisations, by any means, but refracted prismatic rays of light, images that Kotter took using a traditional photographic camera. Here, the viewer is confronted by his own conditioning: in the digital age he expects a computer-based formal language, but ultimately this process emerges as consistently analogue, or manual. Such a media-critical conception – quite literally – that sets the analogue against the digital is also revealed in the meanwhile long-sustained conflict between painting and photography. For despite all their technical perfection, some artefacts give the impression that Kotter is referring to painting with his use of sweeping forms. Thus the artist reopens a long-smouldering dispute regarding ascendancy among the artistic genres: in an almost exemplary fashion, the conflict between photography and painting raises the issue of which medium best meets the claim to truth: painting with its great affinity to philosophy, endorsed for centuries, or photography, which provides documentation of reality via a physical-chemical and so incorruptible process. Kotter leaves it to the viewer to answer this indirectly posed question. His own pictorial works point simultaneously to photography, the new media, and to painting, so that the viewer begins to brood upon the questionability of his own perception, making the credibility and evaluation of each medium into the theme of the works.

Another difficult factor is that Kotter works with and through light: in these, as in other works from the series ‘replaced’ (2009-2011), light is used as a means of expression. Looking at the history of light-art in the broadest sense, painted light has been understood both as a purely physical and as a philosophical dimension. This basic assumption, which allows the appearance of both profane and sacred light, is still retained today, although slide and video projection, the technology of the new media, photography and film are now represented alongside painting. Sometimes light is employed as a simple dramatic aid in images and installations, and sometimes it is a carrier of meaning; its themes including technological utopias, anthropologies, media-oriented epistemology, culture-critical and social scientific perspectives associated with names like Robert Delaunay, László Moholy-Nagy, Dan Flavin, Bruce Nauman, James Turrell or Mischa Kuball. This brief historical sketch is reflected not only in Kotter’s media-critical colour photographs, but also in his light installations: Kotter arranges a row of light boxes of the same and differing formats as if on a rehearsal stage, usually located in a monochrome context in the corner of a room. They are found objects, which – thrown away from industrial sites or offices – are given a new meaning. Like a palimpsest, on the one hand the light objects refer to their original usages, for example when their forms are reminiscent of lighting in manufacturing halls and can be seen, therefore, as a warning reminder of industrial production’s alienating work atmosphere; on the other hand, they indicate something new, providing messages – new or long-concealed – in the field of art. Deputising, almost, for what is hoped for but never achieved in social and cultural fields, it seems that these objects succeed in liberating us from the constraints of social responsibility. Kotter offers the viewer such a dimension of his works – i.e. critical, self-reflective and oriented on insight, and in the same breath he re-conjures the elementary utopias of modernism.

Walter Seidl

知名策展人、當代文化史博士、藝術評論家、藝術家,分別於巴黎和紐約的大學取得文化研究碩士(MA)及當代歷史博士(PhD)學位。擁有豐富國際策展經驗,展覽遍及歐洲、北美、香港、日本和南非,並於2004以來便負責奧地利最大銀行Erste group 集團與基金會的藝術收藏,建立其聚焦東南歐藝術的收藏體系。他經常發表藝術評論文章或為藝術家撰寫圖錄專文,並常態性於Camera Austria, springerin and Život umjetnosti等國際藝術雜誌撰文發表。他同時也是一位影像藝術家,作品獲藏於維也納格拉茨市美術圖書館、奧地利聯邦政府。

重新定義空間關於Hans Kotter的燈光雕塑

<Redefining space. On the light objects of Hans Kotter>

Walter Seidl

Hans Kotter呈現以光為基礎的作品展現了光學可能性的多重宇宙,不只打破了空間界限,亦在物質與非物質的基礎上延伸。黑暗空間中的光體定義了色彩的感知模式與變化強度的光譜形式,使藝術家能夠啟動基本建築參數。透過他所設置的物件,Kotter創建了虛幻的世界,不僅試探了光的物理維度,也應用技術上精巧的材料組合控制了觀者的感知。

Kotter的每件作品都不僅試圖重新定義既定的空間環境,尤其更重新定義各個物件的內部,並根據光生成的結構對其進行調整。因此,光體成為空間主體;當這樣的嵌合體將技術條件推至可見的想像極限時,這每一件作品便成為科學上精密的裝置。因此Kotter接管了定義每個空間及其下層參數的能力,其中光則成為空間中藝術性分析計算的起點。藝術家將電磁輻射的片刻轉化為人類肉眼可見的領域,並挑戰它來檢視通常難以計算的視覺呈現方法之形式。感知變化的即時性主要取決於觀者的位置,某些情況下,藝術家甚至需要定義觀者的切確視點,使他們能夠以最佳的方式體驗光與空間的疊合。Kotter所演示的不僅是藝術上的考量,也是他對電磁波的可能性與其影響的詳盡研究成果;而這一切能發揮作用是由於光在物體中、在其上與其周圍所呈現的藝術性運動。色彩,或者簡單來說是所謂「白」光評估動態傳播可能性,落在清晰度關係的中心點,這定義了物件奇異性的影響與它們在空間的複數排列。

無論是在幾何光學中的線性傳播或波狀模塊的形成中,Kotter的藝術作品都展現了從黑暗中觀看產生的世界所帶來的空間片刻,而其中的真實性是出於藝術動機。而藝術現實與理解超越函數之間所捕捉的技術性再生空間狀態與視錯覺如何發揮作用?藝術與科學為現實轉移的共生動力,是受技術驅動且能置換真實為各種形式的可能。Kotter以最精準的方式研究光感的可能性,並以空間控制的結構實現它們。這些可能性可以體現的維度能夠在相應的展示框架中被重新體驗。所呈現的空間環境亦定義了物件所存在的空間內容,而這些內容可能同時顯示著真實與虛構之感。對真實的參考是建立於操控看似虛構但技術上可實現的可視化方法,並因此提供上述可能性的參考。光敏輻射的連續性便因此被轉換為藝術反思的物化。

結果顯示了可受測試的Kotter光體實驗裝置,而將這個實驗轉化為一項藝術專利。近期的作品見證了「白」光形成的處理。縱使現實上無法體現,至少可以感受到不同色彩溫度與白色漸變的細微差異。這就是藝術家用來產生輻射體的方式,其中將光導向多個方向,使形成萬花筒般的感知。當每個物件都呈現其具體形狀時,其三維空間元素的形式則似乎被帶往無窮大。混合著可見光譜間所有波長的光通常以螢光棒的方式傳播,並因此喚起視覺美感的魔幻場域。令人著迷的光散射形式在空間中增長,因此創造了新的光物化層級,使觀者能夠專注於不同層面之中。由此產生的效果呈現了絕美的片刻,強調了空間體內的光空間。能見度水平擴展至黑暗中由存在與非存在的光以及其在空間中的物化與非物化所產生的隱形點。振盪與運動在空間中創造了新的空間,這些空間突然出現卻也可能稍縱即逝。LED燈、螢光燈管、玻璃、有機玻璃、鏡子、金屬、以及其他材料為Kotter提供了其光藝術的創作基礎,這些作品不斷地以不同形狀呈現並以它們為依據測試任何可能的光處理形式。為此,藝術家定義且嘗試了更新的空間配置,例如在近期的一件作品上便使物件和其零件精準定位變得必要。

如果要對Kotter的作品做出普遍有效的陳述,我認為他的作品很難被歸類,因為作品的外觀與技術成效總是能夠擴展至新的影像空間與思維。無論是色彩之間的交互作用或者是側重於光影的黑白美學,其結果都在藝術感知與技術可行性層面上令人感到驚訝。無論是隱晦的呈現或隱藏於牆上壁龕之中、懸吊於天花板上、或者盛開佔滿到近乎炸裂的狀態,Kotter的作品都形成燈光雕塑,承載著意想不到的可能呈現,這些可能暴露於無常的時刻或者節奏性地不斷變化外形。重複與停滯、大爆炸與黑洞、一切皆有可能,一切皆保持未定。

Walter Seidl

Born 1973 in Graz, Austria, lives in Vienna Studied cultural studies (MA) and contemporary history (PhD) at universities in Graz, Seattle (photography), Paris and New York. Seidl curated numerous exhibitions throughout Europe, North America, Hong Kong, Japan and South Africa. His writings include various catalog essays for artist monographs, exhibition reviews, and criticism. Seidl contributes to several international art magazines, most frequently to Camera Austria, springerin and Život umjetnosti.

<Redefining space. On the light objects of Hans Kotter>

Walter Seidl

The light-based works of Hans Kotter show a pluriverse of optical possibilities that break through the boundaries of space and extend it on a material and immaterial basis. Light objects in dark spatial structures define perceptual patterns of colour and spectral formations of changing intensity, enabling the artist to set fundamental architectural parameters in motion. Through his objects, Kotter creates illusionary worlds which not only sound out the physical dimensions of light, but also control the viewers’ perception in technically refined material combinations.

Each of Kotter’s artworks not only tries to re-define the given surroundings and in particular also the interior of the respective object and to change it based on light-generated structures. Bodies of light become bodies of space, which as chimeras push the technical conditions to imaginability limits of what is visible and make the pieces turn into scientifically sophisticated apparatuses. As a result, Kotter takes over the power of definition over the respective space and the underlying parameters, in which light serves as a starting point of an artistically analytical calculation of space. The artist transfers moments of electromagnetic radiation into the field of visibility of the human eye and challenges it to review formations of visual presentation modes that are usually difficult to calculate. The immediacy of perception changes primarily depending on the position of the viewer, in some cases the artist even determines the viewer’s exact point of view in order to enable them to experience the congruence of light and space in optimal agreement. What Kotter demonstrates is not just an expression of artistic considerations, but the result of an elaborate examination of the possibilities of electromagnetic waves and the effect of the waves, which comes into play due to the light-artistic movement in, around and on the objects. The possibilities of wave-dynamic propagation in terms of colour or, very simply, a supposed “white” light evaluation are at the centre of the relationships of clarity, which define the effect of the objects in their singularity or their plural arrangement in space.

Whether in linear propagation like in geometrical optics or in wave-like module formation, Kotter’s art objects suggest spatial moments that in the dark of viewing generate worlds whose factuality is artistically motivated. How do optical illusion and technically reproducible spatial conditions caught between artistic reality and the transcendental function of understanding act? Art and science serve as a symbiotic momentum of a transfer of realities, which is technically motivated and transposes reality into different formats of what is possible. Kotter examines the possibilities of photometric sensation in the most precise manner and realises them in a spatially controlled structure. The dimension these possibilities can take on can be newly experienced in the respective framework of presentation. The spatial context of the presentation defines the spatial content of the object, which may appear real and fictional at the same time. The reference to what is real is founded in the control of seemingly fictional, however technically realisable, methods of visualisation, which provide references to the said possibilities. The seriality of light-sensitive radiation is thus transposed into a materialisation of artistic reflection.

The experimental arrangements that can be tested in Kotter’s light objects are shown in the results in which the experiment is transformed into an artistic patent. The most recent objects bear witness of dealing with formations of “white” light. Although not actually realisable in practice, at least nuances of different colour temperatures and graduations of white can be perceived. This is what the artist uses to produce radiating objects, in which light is directed in multiple directions causing kaleidoscope-like schemes of perception. Forms of three-dimensional spatial elements are seemingly taken to infinity while the objects in their entirety take on a concrete shape. Light mixed of portions of all wavelengths of the visible spectral range is often propagated through glow sticks and evokes magical fields of visual aesthetics. Mesmerising formations of light scattering expand in space and create new materialisation levels of light allowing viewers to focus on different aspects. The effects thus created demonstrate moments of the sublime, emphasising the light space in the body of space. Levels of visibility open out into invisibility spots of darkness caused by the presence and absence of light and its materialisation and dematerialisation in space. The oscillations and movements create new spaces in space which suddenly appear, but may disappear just as fast. LED lights, fluorescent light tubes, glass, plexi, mirrors, metal and other materials serve Kotter as a basis for the creation of his light-art works, which continuously take on different shapes and in their reference test any conceivable forms of dealing with light. In doing so, the artist defines and tries ever new special arrangements which in one of the most recent works make an exact positioning of the object and its components necessary.

If a universally valid statement is to be made about Kotter’s works, it is difficult to categorise them since their appearance and technical finish open up new spaces of image and thought. Whether in an interaction of colour or black-and-white aesthetics focusing on a shadow effect, the result amazes in what is artistically conceivable and technically feasible. Whether subtle or hidden in a niche of the wall, suspended from the ceiling, exuberantly taking over the room or nearly breaking it open, Kotter’s objects form light sculptures bearing the potential of unexpected appearances that can be exposed to moments of impermanence or consistently change their shape in a rhythmical sequence of presentation. Repetition and standstill, Big Bang and black hole, everything is possible, everything remains open.

Bettina Schultz

自由撰稿人,她長年擔任國際視覺設計雜誌”novum” 主編一職,並為多本國際雜誌、專業媒體擔任自由記者和撰稿人。同時也是許多國際設計比賽的評委成員之一,例如歐洲設計獎、慕尼黑工業設計獎、最佳內容營銷獎、全球插圖獎、Design Europa獎、IIID獎等,她也是Creative Paper Conference 的創始成員之一。

純粹的幻覺

Hans Kotter其實什麼都沒展現。

<Pure Illusion. Hans Kotter shows nothing.>

Bettina Schulz

這聽起來似乎讓人感到洩氣;實際上,這是可視化我們身邊虛無的偉大作品。因為沒有光的話,沒有折射與反射,我們將會生活在沒有色彩與輪廓的世界之中。因此,Hans Kotter以一種獨特的方式詮釋了每日環繞在我們身邊的幻覺;他發展了這種光錯覺的要素,使我們熟悉細節與視覺之美。他將光影變成主角,名副其實地將日常用品移轉到最佳的光線之下;他利用霓虹燈來表現,並透過暫停眼睛與思考功能來同時刺激反應。以視覺障礙作為流暢美學品質的發散物件。

Hans Kotter總是從真實生活中尋找靈感。不論是DIY店舖或市集,任何地方能夠提供特定材料品質的機會。因為每種材料對他主要使用的工具反應都不一樣,而且對「光」的物理現象反應也不同。然而,他作品的真正魅力之處不一定是在於那些按原始尺寸呈現的物件或者是他所借出的(新)含義—而是作品之間驚人的交互作用導致我們的感知變化。Hans Kotter不僅利用光線表演魔法;他照亮並強調黑暗中實際發生的事情。正如他那難以形容的表現手法,他的作品十分隱晦,並非顯而易見:Hans Kotter遞送需要被發現的訊息。它們有時候是令我們感到困惑的隱喻,使我們對自己的闡釋能力感到質疑。那麼,我們被允許自由闡釋嗎?當然,但是我們應該注意Kotter作品中的諷刺意味,這是其中至關重要的要素!

然而,如果沒有空間,他的任何裝置都無法發展或存在。環繞著Kotter作品的場域就像是畫布那般,他能夠從中流暢地舖陳時事或者幽默地影射生活中涉及個人故事的荒謬,一切都微妙地被敘述著。

在本次的展覽中,觀者被允許探索空間中有限或無限的特性—虛構的世界以令人印象深刻的立體圖像呈現,像螺旋一般不斷地吸引觀眾,不願放手:如同水下逆流那般拉扯著凝視的眼光,使人好奇這種深不可測的情境—真正地難以捉摸。此外,他的新作品「Big Bang…Interruption」引導我們進入另外一場令人充滿困惑的遊戲,以新鮮的情境呈現日常現象。Hans Kotter說:「它顯示了災難的快照,但又同時強調了新事物的發展與據稱更美好的演變」,藉此點出困境的魅力與美感。

燈光—不僅是藝術創造的工具,也是關注生活的聚光燈,聚焦於社會中所有的弱點與虛榮。聚光燈使我們貶眼、或可能使我們短暫地受傷,但是憑藉其美學與諷刺性,很快地能夠使我們與世界調和一致。因此,在通常的情況下,我們應該效仿哥德 (約翰.沃爾夫岡.馮.歌德 Johann Wolfgang von Goethe) 的著名的遺言,呼籲著「來更多的光吧!」。

Pure Illusion

Hans Kotter shows nothing.

Bettina Schulz

Although this may sound rather deflating, actually it is great art visualizing the nothingness all around us. For without light, without refraction and reflection, we would live in a world without colour and so without contours. In a unique way, therefore, Hans Kotter interprets the illusion that surrounds us every day; he develops the essences of this optical illusion and familiarizes us with the beauty of details and vision as such. He makes shadow into his protagonist, moving everyday objects quite literally into the best light; he allows them to act with neon light and so irritate both the eye and the intellect equally by suspending their function. Visual stumbling blocks as radiant objects of smooth aesthetic quality.

Hans Kotter finds his inspiration in life – in real life. In do-it-yourself stores and at fairs, wherever concrete matter offers him opportunity in the shape of specific material qualities. For every material reacts differently to his primary tool, reacts differently to the physical phenomenon of »light«. The actual fascination of his works, however, is not necessarily the staging of the objects used in their original size, or the fact that he lends (new ) meaning to them – instead, it is their astonishing interplay that leads to change in our perception. Hans Kotter not only performs magic with sources of light; he illuminates, highlights things that actually take place in the dark. Just as his means of expression is intangible, his works are not obvious, by any means: Hans Kotter manifests messages that have to be discovered first. They are metaphors that sometimes confuse us, making us question our own capacity for interpretation. So is freedom of interpretation permitted? Of course, but attention should be paid to the irony that is a vital constituent of Kotter’s works!

However, none of his installations could evolve or exist if there was no space. The field of play surrounding Kotter’s works may be likened to a canvas from which he develops sleek references to current affairs, or humorous allusions to life’s absurdities and therefore very personal stories, all subtly narrated.

In this present exhibition the viewer is permitted to explore the finite or rather the infinite quality of space – imaginary worlds evolve in impressive 3-D graphics, drawing the viewer on and on like a spiral, apparently unwilling to let him go: an undertow that pulls down his gaze, making him curious about the unfathomable – in the sense of literally intangible depths. In addition, a new work entitled »Big Bang … Interruption« invites us into another confusing game, presenting an everyday phenomenon in a fresh context. »It shows the snapshot of a disaster, but simultaneously highlights the evolution of something new and purportedly better«, Hans Kotter says and so addresses the fascination and beauty of catastrophe.

Light – not only the instrument of artistic creativity, but also a focusing spotlight on life, on society with all its weakenesses and vanities.  A spotlight that causes us to blink and may hurt for a moment or two, but soon – with its aesthetic qualities and irony – reconciles us to the world. As so often, therefore, here we should emulate Goethe, whose famous last words were a call for “More light!”

Hendrik Lakeberg

為自由撰稿人,曾為知名國際藝術雜誌Kunstforum、Monopol撰文評論,也曾為Georg Baselitz、Albert Oehlen等重要藝術大家撰寫圖錄專文。

光的流動

<Light Flow>

Hendrik Lakeberg

夜間在大城市中開車時,霓虹燈廣告在老舊建築外牆上與高樓屋頂的色彩開始變得模糊;我們或許仍然能注意到它們,但卻不再嘗試去辨識字樣。霓虹燈廣告的無所不在顯現著它與任何相關含義是分離的;當出現像電影場景般的影像,便能創造大城市般的氛圍。

Hans Kotter運用他的光作品,圓圈、線條、與閃爍的色彩光譜常常將畫廊空間變成裝飾華美的煉金術士實驗室,從而將大城市氛圍轉化為抽象的燈光景觀。一切就只剩光的魔法、獨特氛圍、以及操控力。這是從現代性基本經驗中間接採用的大城市感知與經驗,如同社會學家Georg Simmel所說的:「緊繃生活的加劇,是由外部與內部印象的快速且持續波動所引起的」。

與二十世紀初形成鮮明對比的是,對大城市的感知以及伴隨著來的感官過度刺激已在二十一世紀中成為生活常態。今天,事物出現與呈現的方式,通常比其現實和功能來得重要;換句話說,在大城市的背景下,廣告和消費主義的燈光與色彩奇觀往往較產品或事件本身來得更加出色。這樣的驚奇本身就是目的;而光線亦變得抽象。Kotter將這種光的魅力轉變成他作品中一部份的關鍵主題。

從Kotter物件與裝置所傳遞的清晰、幾何形式語言中,能夠找到對現代主義藝術的明顯參考。例如作品「Edge」顯示他已將El Lissitzky的圖像作品或Piet Mondrian的畫作轉化為三維的層次。然而,與這些現代主義藝術家形成對比的是,Hans Kotter並沒有呼籲為世界美學進行重塑。廣告與設計早就接手了這樣的任務。乍看Kotter的雕塑與物件,他的燈箱給人的印象是它們是為了美化空間而被創造出來的—但Kotter的藝術遠不止於此。

哲學家Gernot Böhme將空間定義為「當人們進入一個充滿情感收縮與廣度的環境所遇上的氛圍」。在Kotter的作品中,這樣的光環創造了美感體驗,並為觀者帶來了既熟悉又陌生的效果,尤其如果觀者是來自大城市的話,感受將更深切。這些感知不在日常體驗之中卻深植入內。作品展示了光可以創造的氛圍,也顯現操控感知強度與吸引觀眾的方式。

Hans Kotter小時候就對未來派畫作產生興趣,尤其是Umberto Boccioni的作品;他同時也受Victor Vasarely Op Art (歐普藝術) 的吸引。直至今日,Kotter的創作都在參照現代主義與呈現感官刺激兩極之間擺盪。除了光的物件與裝置藝術,Kotter多年來主要進行一系列關於光折射的特寫鏡頭。作品的呈現乍看似乎是電腦產出的抽象圖形—然而,事實上,這些藝術品顯示了作品的物理性質,或許更好地描述了光的形上學。無論Kotter是否莊嚴地以玻璃立方體呈現無止盡的催眠螺旋,彷彿我們正在邁向通往另一個維度的入口,或者他將大城市的光轉化為抽象的空間景觀;他的作品都是對感知的反思與對氛圍創造的研究。作品傾倒入空間的情感氛圍散發著美好與見解。這使我們能夠體驗當下的感知狀態又同時以魔法為其充電。Kotter的作品使觀看成為一種煉金術。

Annett Zinsmeister

藝術評論學者、藝術家,畢業於柏林視覺藝術與設計大學,學習藝術、建築、文化和媒體科學,自2003年以來,她任教於藝術學校和擔任數間大學的教授,她的書籍在國際間出版,並以建築,藝術和媒體研究等不同學科的結合而聞名,曾在許多藝術雜誌、專業期刊及書籍中發表論述著作。她同時也是一位藝術家,作品獲藏於柏林德國聯邦議院、紐約現代藝術博物館(MOMA)、新柏林藝術中心(NBK)和法國奧爾良當代藝術中心(FRAC Centre-Val de Loire)等。自2010年起成為德國藝術家協會會員。

沉浸於光與色彩的深層狂喜之中

< In the deep rapture of light and color>

Annett Zinsmeister

「藝術不過是自然之光」

  • 歌德 (Johann Wolfgang von Goethe)

當論及色彩與光,Hans Kotter無疑是位專家。在研究繪畫時期,他的主要興趣便是色彩構成、平面區域與結構處理、以及色彩與形式。九十年代後期,他開始投注更多心力於攝影手法。為了構思屬於自己的實驗設置,他致力於光的研究與其中的光譜分割。從那時起,光折射的可視化與美學呈現和精湛的色彩構成便成為Kotter一部份的基本作品。

「沒有其他元素能夠像光一樣為地球與我們的生命帶來如此久遠的影響。光以多種形式吸引著我,而我已經研究它的媒介多年,包含它的組成、物理環境、色澤、感知與文化歷史。這累積的研究調查經驗與洞悉便因此實踐於我的作品之中。」

正是這些各種材料,例如油、水、有機玻璃、不銹鋼、鉻合金等的有趣處理方式,以及這些材料與光和色彩的效果,深深吸引著Hans Kotter;並因此激發他持續嘗試新表現方式的靈感。他的作品表現力與變化性所展現出來的強大力量,更彰顯出他在材料處理的多樣性。

色彩與光的抽象創造出彌漫的景色、距離的錯覺、神秘的波濤、水的意象、湧動的熱、以及織物的絕美感,這些都隱約以起伏的趨摺感在圖像表面滑動著。這些非關物質且未經處理的光和色彩照片,其清晰可見的實質性顯示了畫作的起源,亦同時記錄著其物理過程。令人難以致信的美感、豐饒、光彩、以及自然科學見解中同時出現的神秘感,能在藝術中體現是十分非凡的。

藝術家對色彩的處理在這其中有著關鍵作用。Hans Kotter利用他對色彩的深切知識以及其對光環境與鄰近色彩之間所帶來的不同影響,系統性且直覺地將顏色連結起來,從而創造出和諧且令人興奮的對比。

確實,空間在Hans Kotter的裝置作品中始終起著重要的作用。光以微妙的方式發揮作用,例如作品Blue Line,作品的立體空間逐漸消失於黑暗之中並縮小成為輪廓線。三維的空間抽象無疑會導致許多細節消失,然而,其他基本的空間資訊卻反而因此更加清晰直接。螢光燈管與照明物所組成的三維佈局將不同的房間浸入變化的光流之中,使觀眾體驗到雲霄飛車般的感官與情感奔騰。

在他的最新作品「Tunnels」中,Hans Kotter 呈現出空間幻覺:由金屬細絲組成的新開發光體中,因為其出色的材料品質與精密性而反射著玻璃體積並在自身上產生一圈特殊的光環。接近的觀眾將不由自主地受到一股神秘的強烈吸引,情緒進而逐漸發展為一股狂喜。當打開物體中間的光源,光體的反射表面將魔法般地轉化為迷人的色彩隧道,而其隧道底端則無法預測;就像愛麗絲夢遊仙境那般,帶給我們發展幻想與想像的無限自由。

無論是彎曲或筆直的,隧道都指向無盡,而這個現象逼真到讓人忍不住想要伸手探入;一種無法抵擋的吸引力。這是一場充滿幻想的遊戲,以看似無止盡且持續出乎意料並帶來驚喜的方式藝術性地呈現光與色彩的表演。反射表面與無盡的色彩構成同時帶來絕美與神秘感所產生的交互作用,推動著觀眾進入色彩、深層且不可自拔的狂喜之中,這一切都得歸功於Hans Kotter!

Annett Zinsmeister:  In the Deep Rapture of Light and Colour

“Art is nothing but the light of nature”  Goethe

Hans Kotter is an expert when it comes to colours and light. His main interest during his study of painting lay with colour compositions, handling plane areas and structure, and colour and form. At the end of the nineties he began to concentrate more and more on the medium of photography. Devising his own experimental set-ups, he devoted himself to a study of light and its segmentation into colour spectra. The visualisation and aesthetic staging of light refraction, and colour compositions of great virtuosity have been part of Kotter’s basis repertoire of works since then:

“There is no other element with such a lasting impact on life on our planet as light. Light fascinates me in a huge variety of ways and I have investigated the medium of light, with its composition, physical contexts, colours, perception and cultural history for many years. The experiences and insights resulting from this investigation are later implemented in my works.”

It is the playful treatment of a wide range of materials such as oil, water, acrylic glass, stainless steel, chrome etc. and their effects in relation to light and colour which fascinates Hans Kotter and inspires him to try out new forms of expression continually. This diversity in the handling of materials is revealed in his works’ great power of expression and variety.

The abstraction of colour and light creates diffuse landscapes, the illusion of distance, mysterious waves, the impression of water, shimmering heat or the finest of fabrics, which seem to glide across the picture surface in undulating folds. The apparent materiality of these unmanipulated photographs of the immaterial – of light and colour – points to their origins in painting, yet at the same time they document physical processes. The incredible degree of beauty, opulence, brilliance and simultaneous mystery with which natural scientific insights can be manifest in art is quite remarkable.

The artist’s treatment of colour plays a key role in all this. Hans Kotter employs his profound knowledge of colours and their very different effects in relation to light conditions and proximity to other colours to relate colours to each other systematically yet intuitively, so creating harmonies as well as extremely exciting contrasts.

Indeed, the room always plays an important part in Hans Kotter’s installation works. Light is brought into play in a subtle way, for example, as a blue line: the cubature of the room disappears into the darkness, reduced to its contour lines. This abstraction of three-dimensional space certainly causes many details to disappear, but other elementary spatial information is manifest more clearly as a direct consequence. Three-dimensional compositions with fluorescent tubing and illuminated objects immerse different rooms into changing currents of light, and the viewer experiences a roller-coaster ride of sensory impressions and emotions.

In his latest works, the so-called “Tunnels”, Hans Kotter is concerned with an illusion of space: in newly developed light objects consisting of filigree, reflecting glass volumes that generate a special aura of their own due to their superior material quality and precision, the approaching viewer is compelled by a mysterious and forceful attraction, which gradually develops into a deep rapture. As if by magic, the reflecting surfaces of the light object are transformed – when the source of light at the object’s centre is switched on – into an enchanting tunnel of colours, the end of which is unforeseeable, and which – as in Alice in Wonderland – offers us apparently infinite freedom to develop our fantasies and imagination.

The tunnel pointing into infinity, whether curving or straight, is a phenomenon that appears so realistic one would like to extend one’s hand into it; one is overcome by an irresistible attraction. But it is a game with illusion, with the apparently endless, constantly surprising and astonishing ways to stage light and colour artistically. This extremely aesthetic and simultaneously mysterious interplay of reflecting surfaces and endless colour compositions propels the viewer into a rapture of colour and depth from which he has no desire to recover quickly, thanks to the artist Hans Kotter!

CV Annett Zinsmeister

Annett Zinsmeister is an artist and author, and Professor for Visual Arts and Experimental Design at State Academy of Fine Arts in Stuttgart. She lives in Berlin. More information: www.annett-zinsmeister.de

Peter Lodermeyer

知名策展人、藝術史博士、藝術評論家,任教於伍珀塔爾大學,教授藝術史課程。現任德國伯格特海姆城堡館長。策展經歷遍布歐洲各大城市,曾在許多藝術雜誌、專業期刊及書籍中發表論述著作。2008 年起成為國際藝術評論家協會 AICA 的成員。

藝術般的人造光
近觀 Hans Kotter 的作品

Peter Lodermeyer

在鄰近萊茵河邊的一家酒店,我詢問是否能夠看看聽聞座落於該酒店中的 Hans Kotter 作品。 櫃檯人員對於我所說的內容一無所知,只能模糊地示意我上樓。我在大廳裡上下走了很久,徒勞無功,直到我在一塊寬敞的壁龕中發現木板牆上三個比例勻稱的大型物體。在昏暗的燈光下, 我無法清楚看見物件表面有什麼東西。然後,我注意到有個開關並打開了它,當時我並不懷疑這個開關與物件的關係。三個直立的矩形盒短暫的閃爍了一下,接著便產生了名副其實的光亮奇蹟。在九平方米的平面上,一整片色彩形式的燈以明亮的鈷藍色、黃色、以及瓶綠色組成,色彩在彼此之間以傾斜的波浪狀起伏著。右側以壯麗的干邑白蘭地光輝達到高潮。如此的光彩氾濫形式讓人難以形容,就像抽象畫那般,卻同時呈現了奇妙的真實性、物化感、與相片精準度。這些形式像是自然無比的動畫—但是色彩卻又十分酷炫,所呈現的外觀亦極度平順,以至於這些作品散發出令人困惑的奇異感與難以靠近的氛圍。

突如其來的面對 Hans Kotter 的攝影作品,感受抽象與真實、自然與人工、技術完善與繪畫感外觀的擺盪,人們難免會質疑這些現象是否經過數位產出或變動。事實是,藝術家以相機聚焦在自己創建的油滴或稜鏡上,以觀察光線折射、繞射、與反射那令人困惑的複雜過程。透過多種光線來源的嫻熟手法,這些透明介質的內部顯現出奇異的美麗形式與極佳的色彩品質。在這個過程中,雖然已經透過大量的光物質、色彩繽紛的背景、與反射表面來呈現,這其中的轉變仍然難以辨識,所產生的現象喚起有形的實質印象,卻無法形成可理解的形態。因此,這樣的偽自然形式看起來像是植物逆襲或由液體構成的景觀,卻又同時在最深處保留著既無關緊要又精力充沛且難以確切描述的形態。這些被 Kotter 以雷射鍍鉻相片或燈箱幻燈片呈現的形式,之後並未再以數位方式進行修正;反之,它們是以在相機中呈現的方式顯示。

Kotter 的主題是光。他的作品總是著眼於光線,追尋光最出乎意料的效果。如此一來,光現象的多樣性使藝術家能夠開辟新天地,在探尋表達的多種變化可能與不斷創新的表現技術、材料與方法中,超越展示形態的常規界限。Hans Kotter 不只建造燈箱,他也製作物件,將他所發現的東西倒入透明樹脂中,用光箔製成的光路標記整個空間、再用他的相機處理最微妙的光現象。在談話之中,他將自己的攝影作品稱之為「光畫」,強調他僅是在大量實驗過程發現攝影這種輔助手段,而且這樣的發現大多是偶然的。Kotter 的主要工作並非攝影師,而是光藝術家。因此,他也必須是位空間藝術家,因為空間在視覺上展示給我們的,便是含有光的空間。不只是他的空間裝置,就連他用霓虹燈管照亮的燈箱都顯示出對展示空間帶來重大影響的存在,並且實質地改變了空間。也因為如此,對於他不斷獲得在公共空間和辦公大樓設立大型裝置的委託,是一件再正常不過的事了。

這些燈箱與哥德式大教堂窗戶之間所建立的聯結十分有趣。其中這薄如蟬翼的感覺,例如從透明物質中穿透出的光或者是有大量光線進入的空間,通常被藝術史學家認為是中世紀裡光形上學的表現手法。這種輕透的魔力也存在於 Hans Kotter 的攝影實驗之中,當然,其中也不應忽視的是,藝術家也感知到當今我們與光的關係是十分世俗的。在他首次嘗試進入光的微觀世界時,他並沒有因此屈服於所觀察到的光抽象之美。他對此太過挑剔,因為他敏銳地意識到那紮根於西方思想之中的光概念作為神聖、真理、和理性的象徵,早已遭受廣泛的世俗化而最終猛烈地變得瑣碎。毫無疑問地,西方關於光形上學的先決條件之一是,在大多數的情況下,太陽日復一日、自然且無法被利用的特性。後來有了電,光成為持續可用、可造、且可管控的物質。 對我們所有人而言,人造光線已成為現代日常生活中不證自明的先決條件。到了晚上,我們得益於霓虹燈廣告光芒、車燈、與路燈的照明,即使是最醜陋的城市也能受惠於褻瀆神靈的人造光。最終,在 Dan Flavin 於 1960 年代的螢光燈管裝置藝術中,人造光立即成為主題,也成為光藝術這種新形式的材料。

Kotter 的裝置與燈箱之中,充滿光的形式與鏡面平滑的物件,看起來總是「閃閃發光地乾淨與純粹」,正如 1999 年那自嘲式的展覽名稱所暗示的那樣。這聽起來像是廣告詞的座右銘,提醒著我們意識到,西方的光形上學今日已落入產品設計、廣告商、以及他們口中令人質疑的幸福承諾之中。我們對於廣告之中那種陽光總是耀眼地照著,使每塊磚、每片金屬、與每個漆面都閃爍光芒,像無暇的牙齒呈現潔淨純白的完美狀態、而金屬鍍漆的豪華驕車在圖片中像其他星球來的生物那樣,以安靜且極為純粹完美的方式呈現。Hans Kotter 的作品有意識地自己置於誘人的,或幾乎可以說是挑逗般的視線之中,以接近消費性產品那般地呈現著完美且無菌的美學。Kotter 使用燈箱的方式,是在藝術範疇之外的我們所熟知的,尤其是我們在百貨公司或精品店中常見的廣告方式。在「The Very Best…」裝置作品中,他製造了桌球檯與球會獎盃這種體育界常見的用品,以冷淡的閃爍光芒強調其材質。透過他對光線的使用,以誇張的平滑設計帶出一種抽離感,借此強調物件的諷刺感,使物件轉變為「酷」的標記而不帶有實用價值。 從乒乓球桌中可以感覺到美學已轉變成一種戀物感,呈現著從下方照亮且透明的形式,卻無法實際用來打球。雖然尺寸的設計與正規競賽所使用的大小精準對應,但是檯面上含有油水混合物,會使球一上桌便被黏住。然而,無用是否為美的代價?Kotter 在他的作品中測試了藝術與設計、以及美感與功能性之間的狹窄界限。同樣的,他那懸吊或者傾靠牆上的燈箱,也同樣交替於極簡雕塑與時尚設計之間。然而,一旦有人打開隱藏於內部的螢光燈管,這些裝置便轉化為魔術燈籠,從光之仙境之中顯現縈繞人心的圖像。Kotter 的作品是對光產生無盡迷戀的練習曲。

Artificial Light as Art.

Approaching the Works of Hans Kotter

by Peter Lodermeyer

A hotel in Germany, not far from the River Rhine. I inquire at the desk if it might be possible to look at the work by Hans Kotter that I had read about being here. The receptionist, obviously clueless to what I am talking about, gives me vague directions to one of the upper floors. I go up and down the halls for a long time, searching to no avail, until I discover in a roomy niche three large, elegantly-proportioned objects on the wood-paneled wall. In the dim light I am unable to recognize much of what is on the front surfaces. I notice a light switch and turn it on, not suspecting it has anything to do with this object. There is a short flickering within the three upright rectangular boxes – and suddenly a veritable miracle of light takes place. Across nine square meters of surface a cascade of colour forms lights up

in bright cobalt blue, yellow, and bottle green, undulating in slanted waves across one other. To the right the colour culminates in a magnificent cognac-coloured glow. The light-flooded forms remain inexplicable, like in an abstract painting, and at the same time oddly real, material, photographically precise. They seem organically animated – and yet their colours are so cool, their appearance so smooth, that they maintain an air of something confusingly foreign and inapproachable.

Confronted out of the blue with Hans Kotter’s photographic works, oscillating between abstraction and materiality, naturalness and artificiality, technical perfection and painterly appearance, a person will inevitably question whether or not these are phenomena that have been digitally produced or altered. The truth of the matter is that the artist takes his camera, zooming in on drops of oil or glass prisms he has built himself in order to observe there the confusingly complicated play of the refraction, diffraction, and reflection of light. Through skillful lighting from various sources, forms of strange beauty and splendid colour quality emerge in the interior of these transparent media. During this process, transitions that are difficult to identify even though they result from light-flooded matter, colourful

backgrounds and reflecting surfaces, create phenomena which evoke corporeal impressions, but do not materialize to any comprehensible shape. Thus, pseudo-organic formations come about that seem like paradox plants or landscapes made of fluids, and yet remain at the same time, immaterial, energetic, and indefinable in their innermost. These forms, which Kotter then exhibits as laser-chrome prints or slides in light boxes, are not subsequently altered digitally; on the contrary, they are presented in the way they revealed themselves to his camera.

Kotter’s theme is light. His works always address light, tracing its most-unexpected effects. In doing so, the diversity of the light phenomena allows the artist to break fresh ground in finding highly varied possibilities of expression and ever-new techniques, materials, and manners of presentation, which extend beyond the customary boundaries of the genre. Hans Kotter not only constructs light boxes, he also builds objects, pours things he has found into transparent resins, marks entire rooms with paths of light made of luminescent foils, and, using his camera, approaches the most subtle phenomena of light. In conversation he refers to his photographic works as “painting with light”, pointing out that he only discovered photography as an aid after much experimentation and mostly by chance. Kotter is not primarily a photographer, but an artist of light. As such, he is also necessarily an artist of space, since space reveals itself to us visually as a void that contains light. Not only his room installations, but also his light boxes lit with neon tubes reveal a presence that has a considerable effect on the room, and in fact, changes it. For this reason, it comes as no surprise that he repeatedly receives commissions for large-format installations in public spaces and office buildings.

It is highly interesting that a connection has been made between these light boxes and the windows of gothic cathedrals. What is diaphanous, i.e. the penetration of light through transparent matter, as well as the flooding of light into a room were often considered by art historians as an expression of the medieval metaphysics of light. The magic of the diaphanous certainly also occupies Hans Kotter in his photographic experiments, but it should not be overlooked that the artist is also aware of the fact that today our relationship to light is deeply profane. In his forays into the microcosm of optics he does not succumb to the abstract beauty of the light effects he has observed. He is too much the critical contemporary for this, acutely aware that the notions of light anchored in western thought as symbols of the divine, of truth and of reason have long since been subjected to a far-reaching secularization and finally, a drastic trivialization. One of the preconditions of the western metaphysics of light was no doubt, for the most part, the unavailability of the sun as it sought its natural course through the day and year. With electricity light became a constantly available, producible, and manageable quantity. For all of us artificial light has become a self-evident prerequisite of our modern everyday life. At night, thanks to the glow of neon advertisements, the headlights of cars, and streetlights, even the ugliest city can share in the profane magic of artificial light. At the latest with Dan Flavin’s installations of fluorescent tubes in the 1960s, artificial lighting had become at once the theme and the “material” of a new artistic genre, the art of light.

In Kotter’s installations and light boxes, the forms and mirror-smooth objects flooded with light always seem “sparkling clean and pure”, as the self-ironic title of an exhibition of 1999 suggested. This motto that sounds like some kind of advertising can serve as a reminder that the western metaphysics of light has fallen today into the hands of product designers and advertising agents with their questionable promises of happiness. All of us are familiar with ads where the sun always shines and each tile, each chrome and paint surface gleams, where cavity-free teeth sparkle in their hygienically perfect condition, and metallically-painted limousines shoot across the pictures like beings from other spheres, silent and in utterly pure perfection. Hans Kotter’s works consciously place themselves optically in seductive, almost flirtatious, proximity to the aesthetics of the consumer products that are perfect and sterile alike. Light boxes, the way Kotter uses them, are known to us outside the context of art, above all as an advertising means used in department stores and fashion boutiques. And in his installation “The very Best …” he makes everyday objects from the sports world, a table-tennis table, and club trophies, gleam in a cold splendor that emphasizes the material. By exaggerating the sleek design, imbuing it with an alienating effect through his use of light, the objects are enhanced ironically, mutated to become “cool” signs of themselves with no utilitarian value. A turning of aesthetics into fetishes may be sensed in the table-tennis table, transparent and lit from below, but not usable for playing. Although its measurements correspond precisely to the measurements required in tournaments, the tabletop contains a water-and-oil-mixture that would make a real table-tennis ball stick upon contact. Is uselessness a price one pays for beauty? In his works Kotter tests the borders of the narrow line between art and design, between beauty and functionality. Likewise, his light boxes, hung on or leaned against the wall, alternate between the status of minimalist sculpture and chic design object. But as soon as one activates their fluorescent tubes hidden in their interiors they become magic lanterns that reveal haunting pictures from the wonderland of light. Kotter’s works are etudes of the inexhaustible fascination with light.

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