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At the begin- ning of the last century, a view of the world that was able to make the claim of authenticity and totality was no longer conceivable. Two central events significantly contributed to this. On the one hand, World War I, which tore down a façade of humanity and understanding between peo- ples, and on the other, the sinking of the Titanic, which dug an early grave for a belief in technology according to which everything was possible. Art had already anticipated the splintering of the world into fragments. The end of the old art seemed to have been rung in and the birth of a new already proclaimed. There were apparently many arts that wanted to succeed the old—Expressionism, Dadaism, Verismo, and Surrealism, and also Suprematism, Constructivism, and non-representational art. One hundred years later, we have largely left the “isms” behind us, an avant-garde in art no longer exists, and what prevails instead is a wide range of individual artistic positions, each of which describes the state of the world from its own perspective. The walls between the arts are also undergoing erosion: painting and photography are increasingly intermin- gling, and the borders between genres are blurring in the case of sculp- ture, relief, and panel painting. From this, new forms of art are emerging, unconventionally and innovatively. Simon Raab is one of the artists who transcends these borders between genres quite deliberately in that he formulates painting and three-dimen- sional form to become something entirely new. In a traditional act of painting, he first applies paint to sheets of aluminium or steel—the image appears. The artist then deforms this by hand so as to create a refracted and fissured surface—a type of relief. Strictly speaking, this term is incor- rect, since it does not take into account the autonomous painting that cov- ers the surface. What is actually created here is a hybrid form that did not previously exist. The consciously accepted subversion, or better, morph- ing of painting from which a new type of image accrues is accompanied by the fragmenting of the world that individuals actually perceive. I am not superstitious—it brings bad luck! (Eckart von Hirschhausen) The world has moved closer together and, as a result, our field of vision has fundamentally changed. Even seemingly remote regions are no longer unreachable; with this, a view of the world has emerged in which many things can be seen and made to take place simultaneously, as if in a kaleidoscope. As largely uninvolved consumers of images and events, we are easily overtaxed by this specific form of globalization. Raab consistently turns his images into, to a certain extent, changeable, distorted images of reality, into pictorial fata morganas that offer a wide range of visual possibilities. When the artist makes use of recurring and varying visual angles and axes based on Cubist pictorial strategies, on the one hand, he makes reference, on the other, through the choice of the metal painting surface, to industrial production processes that are con- trary to the manual work of the artist. Raab also works both with pictori- al strategies that are abstract or without objects, as well as showing things from the representational world and the most varied of everyday experi- ence (such as flags, waiting lines, hand grenades, portraits, ECG curves, etc.) in order to filter them out of the flow of events and the moment of seeing and thus lends every point of time a unique significance. Captured in the image, this point of time is, nonetheless, transported through the change of context into an aesthetic experience and thus displaced from the everyday. Raab relishes these inconsistencies, which perhaps most accurately reflect our contemporary human condition, in which every- thing has become possible. Based on the specifically American tradition of Pop art, the artist favors banal images from everyday life (e.g. the dol- lar bill) that, however, unlike in the 1960s, suppose no icons of the every- day, but actually remain much more insignificant and are not extremely enlarged as in advertising and thus inflated in importance. The artist instead has his objects and events pass as if through a defective printer. This results in faceted aspects in relief form that reflect light from every angle and sometimes leave viewers with the impression of church win- dows in the sunshine. The works seem illuminated from within, like gem- stones that light up from the correct vantage point in appropriate lighting and reveal what is within them. Mirror, mirror on the wall … (the wicked queen in “Snow White”) Simon Raab provides a picture of our reality by giving a sudden insight into individual scenes from the observer’s everyday world of experience. Because a congruent picture of reality is no longer available to us, his images are consequently, disparate, and each mirrors only segments, which seem, furthermore, to be coincidental. But it is specifically this dis- tortion of perspective that makes the observer refrain from normal seeing and allows a new visual as well as intellectual interpretation. In Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking Glass, Alice discovers a world in which everything is turned on its head. The theme of the “world turned upside down” has a tradition in the history of art. A paradoxical order that con- tradicts the laws of God prevails here and in the argumentum e contrario, teaches the observer about the true dimension of things. Raab’s pictorial strategies break with the tradition of an intact image—he distorts the pictorial surface and thus nurtures the observer’s skepticism of a reality that can today be perfectly manipulated and in which we can no longer believe our eyes. Familiar with the possibilities of digital pho- tography, we take it for granted that photography no longer necessarily reproduces what the camera captures (if it was ever possible to maintain that about photography). In painting, things are more complex. No one presumes that there is an authentic picture of reality behind a painted picture. Yet painting, nonetheless, always transports an act of recognizing reality, namely in a concentrated form. In his deformations, Raab makes this process of the abstraction of seeing (for both the artist and the observ- er) clear, and in doing so, formulates a new, contemporary picture of real- ity. Like in a video clip, the images alternate before the eye of the viewer: a clown, Tibetan flags, a bullfighter. We zap through a world of images that, in all its transformations and non-connections, is ours, image for image. Each observer has to define the connections him or herself. The artist, who is also a physicist, is in no way interested in instruction through images. Instead he records the state of visual experience in progress. And he ruptures it with images that cannot be zapped away, that represent visual stumbling blocks in the flow of medial images, images that take up the aesthetic of the present time and capture the fas- cination and beauty of the painted image.