IBug 2015 Quintessenz photo maeshelle west-davies

Arts and Culture: Quintessenz, Everything is borrowed


Last summer I had the privilege of being behind the scenes at the IBUg festival. Many of you read my diaries, of which there will be one last segment at year end. It’s an inclusive festival and allows everyone to bring their strengths. It was fascinating to watch the processes taking place all around me. Obviously this led me to be drawn to some works more than others. One of those was the work pictured above by Quintessenz.

One reason I was interested was the use of a roller and exterior house paint. Another was because it was much more abstract than the other pieces. At the moment Quintessenz has an exhibition at Galerie Hier + Jetzt. During a conversation with the artist, I found out even more about the work and how they work in general.

The first thing you’ll notice when you go to their website is you won’t find any names. I’ll respect that and just tell you they met at art school. In the beginning there were five of them, hence the name Quintessenz. These days there are two and they work together so well that neither of them can imagine splitting up. One lives in Berlin and the other in Hanover. This is also important since a lot of their work deals with urban landscapes and interaction. Shall I just call them Q1 and Q2?

My art teacher would be so happy with these guys. I used to get chastised for being too text based and not filling my sketchbooks to the brim with doodles. The Quins work an idea and work it and work it and work it. For the festival Q1 sent photos of the buildings surrounding the location at IBUg. Q2 created a mural on the computer from elements of the photos and then Q1 recreated it on the wall. This gives it not only a relationship to its space, but to urbanity in general. By painting directly on the exterior of the building, it gives it urban scale. It also relates it back to our past, while using a computer generated version of what we see around it, makes it very current and relates it to the people who will respond to it. On exhibit is yet another level of the experiment; works on canvas.

In the foreground of the photo, you see a sculpture made from the remains of an installation.



Quintessenz Everything is borrowed at Galerie Hier + Jeztz, photo Quintessennz


Screen Shot 2015-12-13 at 09.22.47
Quintessenz installation Hamburg, photo Quintessenz

Yes, that is real and not CGI, though it looks like it. The Quins allow the environment to infiltrate the work, while still keeping it unexpected. The use of shape mimics the tags, the use of the horizontal is in keeping with the lines of the industrial complex and the colour is both brick and relates to the umbrellas at the same time. The energy of it is explosive, like the trails of a skater or a graffiti artist ready to leave the scene if caught. The piece, once again, connects the people to their environment.

What happened next was the creation of images by removing elements. The result also has a CGI feel, but is actually photos.

The exhibition gives you a broad cross section of various works, always process-based. These guys have made and expanded so many intriguing installations. It’s well worth seeing and thinking about. Everything is borrowed.

Hier + Jetzt
Lützner Str. 91
04177 Leipzig

Artist, curator and writer: maeshelle west-davies gleans her varied life experiences to expose a personal perspective through a multitude of mediums.

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