120 Bat Cans
In 2018 I made several dozen miniature Heinz 57 varieties cans for an exhibition in Berlin, using empty tins from a nut vending machine; a year later, while working on a number of pieces that explored the figure of Batman, his mask and his aura, his similarity even to African masks collaged by Hannah Höch, I noticed a distinct resemblance between Batman’s own mask with its pointy ears and the outline of the Heinz logo. The marriage of the two, Heinz and Batman was almost complete: the go-between was of course the tales that began to emerge about bats being eaten and spreading Covid 19, which came at exactly that time. Chance played its hand and presented me with rich possibilities for a humour tinged with dark enchantments – feral fairytales à la Bruno Bettlehem for young and old. Together with loose time, as a result of the lockdown.
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The Mirror behind the Glass, 2021
It has been mooted that an ability to write back to front (mirror style) is accompanied by an ability to move or see through time. Key examples include Leonardo, who wrote fluently in mirror script and had a visionary ability to foresee a future inventions; Leonora Carrington, who wrote backwards with both hands, and foresaw a new occult feminism; William Blake, a faultless mirror writer who conversed with souls past and future, from the long gone Solomon to the yet-to-be Prince Albert; Dieter Roth, a consummate mirror drawer who explored the trans-temporal worlds contained in bottles; and Lewis Carroll, mirror writer whose time is reflected in the White Queen’s reply to Alice’s inquiry as to what she best remembers, “Oh, things that happened the week after next.”
The art of behind glass painting combines the spatial ability to paint mirror reverse, with a reversal of the normal temporal sequence of painting, starting with the highlights and finishing with the background. During the 2020-21 lockdown in Germany, it was almost impossible to move about in space, so even these tiny diversions through time were particularly welcome. This selection of over 50 works charts these lockdown excursions.