Veit Stratmann

November 14th - November 25th, 2017.

n X 2

Fundamentally, I find the story of this exhibition amazing. No doubt it was originally a delay, a slowness that seem to have made the project more precise. I had the basic idea in mind for a long time. But the delay, the marked slowness made it possible to tighten a few screws, adjust a few thoughts. It seems more fitting that the exhibition should materialize now, at the end of 2017, rather than at some other time in the past.

I imagined a project that would be a “downplaying”. To the extent possible, I wanted to find the coldest way to exhibit. I viewed that necessary coldness as a means of keeping feet on the ground, a means of staying anchored. I approached it as a tool for taking a step back and centring.

I wanted to evoke the image of a block of ice (at least in the field under my control) in an environment that heats up.

The exhibition is certainly not a manifesto. It grew out of the desire to give prominence to the basic tools of every choice and every judgement—of every responsibility taken—namely observation and comparison: tools that make it possible to deduce and make a wish, thus raising the possibility of taking a position—whether it be aesthetic, political or otherwise. To ratify this downplaying, to make this necessary coldness possible, it seemed essential to concentrate a gesture, to systematise an area of my plastic thought and offer the path of this systematization as a form.

To do this, the most obvious logical approach was to choose a basic unit: the structure of a module made of two components. They delimit a space, determine a specific territory in the world, the un- predefined status of which depends on the perspective that looks at it or looks from it.

Thus the pairs of modules, and the space they inscribe, constitute a punctuation of this space, but also of time. Developed one after another in the space, you have to pass them, from one to the other, take a step back, walk a few paces: spend time on them.

To be able to take a step back and make this passing as easy as possible, each pair of modules had to be plausible, both in its form and its materiality. They should only be potentially strange later and give all of the information immediately.

One final point: to most efficiently carry out a punctuation of space and time, to offer the anchoring I mentioned above, it also seemed profitable for each pair of modules to contain its development time, to recount how it came into being. To this end, in the exhibition context, each module is accompanied by the drawing that marks the end of its development process, mentally condensing the time that has passed.