Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9 Page 10 Page 11 Page 12 Page 13 Page 14 Page 15 Page 16 Page 17 Page 18 Page 19 Page 20 Page 21 Page 22 Page 23 Page 24 Page 25 Page 26 Page 27 Page 28 Page 29 Page 30 Page 31 Page 32 Page 33 Page 34 Page 35 Page 36 Page 37 Page 38 Page 39 Page 40 Page 41 Page 42 Page 43 Page 44 Page 45 Page 46 Page 47 Page 48 Page 49 Page 50 Page 51 Page 52 Page 53 Page 54 Page 55 Page 56 Page 57 Page 58 Page 59 Page 60 Page 61 Page 62 Page 63 Page 64 Page 65 Page 66 Page 67 Page 68 Page 69 Page 70 Page 71 Page 72 Page 73 Page 74 Page 75 Page 76 Page 77 Page 78 Page 79 Page 80 Page 81 Page 82 Page 83 Page 84 Page 85 Page 86 Page 87 Page 88 Page 89 Page 90 Page 91 Page 92 Page 93 Page 94 Page 95 Page 96 Page 97 Page 98 Page 99 Page 100 Page 101 Page 102 Page 103 Page 104 Page 105 Page 106 Page 107 Page 108 Page 109 Page 110 Page 111 Page 112 Page 113 Page 114 Page 115 Page 116 Page 117 Page 118 Page 119 Page 120 Page 121 Page 122 Page 123 Page 124 Page 125 Page 126 Page 127 Page 128 Page 129 Page 130 Page 131 Page 132 Page 133 Page 134 Page 135 Page 136 Page 137 Page 138 Page 139 Page 140 Page 141 Page 142 Page 143 Page 144 Page 145 Page 146 Page 147 Page 148 Page 149 Page 150 Page 151 Page 152 Page 153 Page 154 Page 155 Page 156 Page 157 Page 158 Page 159 Page 160 Page 161 Page 162 Page 163 Page 164 Page 165 Page 166 Page 167 Page 168 Page 169 Page 170 Page 171 Page 172 Page 173 Page 174 Page 175 Page 176 Page 177 Page 178 Page 179 Page 180 Page 181 Page 182 Page 183 Page 184 Page 185 Page 186 Page 187 Page 188 Page 189 Page 190 Page 191 Page 192 Page 193 Page 194 Page 195 Page 196 Page 197 Page 198 Page 199 Page 200 Page 201 Page 202 Page 203 Page 204 Page 205 Page 206 Page 207 Page 208 Page 209 Page 210 Page 211 Page 212 Page 213 Page 214 Page 215 Page 216 Page 217 Page 218 Page 219 Page 220 Page 221 Page 222 Page 223 Page 224 Page 225 Page 226 Page 227 Page 228 Page 229 Page 230 Page 231 Page 232 Page 233 Page 234 Page 235 Page 236 Page 237 Page 238 Page 239 Page 24063 At the end of the process, however, the painted motif appears again in the chance structure of the tactically maltreated material in a form that could not have been predicted. It appears suddenly from the folds of the metal: a new, confusingly conflicting and questionable motif. And at the same time, an irrefutable quality is burnt into the visual nerve of the spectator: staged vagueness. Simon Raab shows himself to be a master of amalga- mating antitheses to the point of the evident short-circuit: object and abstraction, painting and sculpture, kitsch and art. He turns his hybrid reliefs into cases of perception in which the triad of material–colour–light echoes into infinity. In alternating interferences, a vicious circle of tran- scendence begins to turn—and observers find themselves suddenly entan- gled in the image. Even perception can become an adventure. In the act of seeing—in the moment between past and future when the pres- ent comes to a standstill—time reveals itself to be a biomorphic dimension, to be a personal quality of the one who is observing. In the era of infor- mation technology, the anthropological constant “human” comes to be ex- pressed in the concept of time, which informs the work of art. Like the creation of form, perception also belongs to the status of pure existence. Perception poses questions the answers to which it seeks in the work of art, and is, in turn, itself an answer to the question that the work of art poses. In art, for example, one always has to be there, immediately, without introduction, without explanations, without preambles: join and be there—pure existence. Gottfried Benn Just as the artist has to take part as an amorphous medium, yet not with- out individual penetrance, in the energy processes of the cosmos of mat- ter in a manner that is as interference-free yet catalytic as possible, so also the observer perceiving in the energy field of phenomena answers in look- ing, questions in responding, and becomes carried away in the process— always in both directions at the same time. “Which way? Which way?” Alice calls while growing in Wonderland, which is simultaneously shrink- ing. Falling through the rabbit hole in no way guarantees arrival, only the experience of a paradox: sense circulates in the nonsense, and therefore continuously anticipates both directions of becoming displaced. The observer behind the looking glass views the other side of the surface and discovers that the other side is only the reverse direction. Art thus sharpens the productive sense for contradictions and trains us in the creative handling of unfamiliar situations. It is—perhaps more so than science—an energetic impulse for the future because it leads beyond limits, implicitly overtaxes, and can, therefore, serve a cathartic function. For the neuroscientist Wolf Singer, art is, consequently, important for the preservation of the species: “It seems to me that coming to terms with the problems of survival in question can only succeed when, in addition to the rational penetration of the systems in which we exist, communications processes capable of making complex circumstances tangible are cultivated. Only then can that knowledge also truly guide action. It may also be the case that we have reached a stage of development in which an ability that initially emerged as an epiphenomenon of particular adaptive functions has suddenly attained an important, possibly species-preserving function. If this is the case, then those social systems will survive that utilize the artistic talent of their members and understand the language of art.” I believe in the potential of the artist to keep time perpendicular. Jürgen Ponto Simon Raab describes his specific objects between painting and sculpture using a self-invented, cryptic word coinage: “parleau.” The word proves to be an anglicized version of the French “par l’eau”—“through the water,” to which should be added: seen, perceived, filtered. As if through the rippled surface of water into an undefined depth, vague yet visible in complete presence, his motifs are formed from the funda- mental basis of an entirely different material by means of the ability to reflect the surrounding light, as if in a concave mirror: portraits from different milieus in society and literature, objects from everyday life, political symbols. Alienated through the maltreatment of the reflective base material, they are revitalized and develop a recognizability in the perceiving and reconstructing consciousness of the observer. To put this more clearly: it is not a question here of repetition and identi- ty. Here mutation is demanded instead of imitation: transition of thinking by means of the material, penetration and rescuing of the material by means of thinking. What concerns Simon Raab as both a physicist and an artist is an opera- tive intervention in the fabric of existence: fragmenting and modeling awareness, inventing and interpreting complexes of form, assimilating and carrying forward the echo of the material. With the wreckage of the material, meta-orders develop: rankings, rhythms, tensions. And then: stepping back from the scene and considering, taking away and assessing anew, speeding up here and waiting there. The aesthetic climate that his material assemblages engender is postmod- ern: it aims beyond the individual work and the master narrative toward an explosive mixture of affirmation and distance, intensity and diffusion, concept and pop. Simon Raab, the contemporary individual who has advanced from scientist to artist, is self-aware enough to grasp his art as a complete construct—and to believe in it, nonetheless. In this contradiction too, art is the only twin that life has. And remember that the eye is a noble, but stubborn, animal. Ossip Mandelstam