Markus Huemer: Answers Don't Fall from the Sky, Either
19 Feb – 4 May 2009
Answers Don’t Fall from the Sky, Either is the title of the first exhibition of Austrian artist Markus Huemer organized by the Czech not-for-profit institution. The exhibition comprises fifteen medium to large-size paintings and two projections installed in four galleries of the DOX tower building. Huemer employs both traditional and new media – painting on one hand and digital technology (including projection) on the other – but his main distinction is in the way he connects the two. As many contemporary artists still grapple with the issue raised by Walter Benjamin in his classic “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction” (1936), particularly how photomechanical reproduction changed the status of the work of art, Huemer takes a further step to question the status of painting in the age of electronic images.
In some cases, Huemer directly engages iconic works and artists of the second half of the 20th century, such as Jackson Pollock and Sigmar Polke. He questions their principles and premises by simulating their paintings using current technologies, including the Internet, video projection, and digital processing. Alternatively, for instance, in the works presented at the exhibition Answers Don’t Fall from the Sky, Either, he is making use of similar hybrids to take on the established representational motifs – the tree and forest, associated with traditional painting – and uses ironic and subversive titles that lampoon claims and expectations associated with both traditional and modernist painting and the role of the artist in those respective contexts.