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 9633 no reconstruction is identical with what it reconstructs. If the performance of a piece of music is also fundamentally a reconstruction (based on a score), it is thus, however, in that sense too banal—although it can be seen as indispensable, fundamental, and premising—to become thematic,to be shown as an intrinsic aesthetic value in the work.This means that in every variant, the reconstruction, such as, for instance, the performance of Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 9, refers to the original work,to the composition and score.The modalities,inspirations,and so forth of the performance are not reflected in this. This also initially applies to a work of visual art, since every artwork in painting, drawing, sculpture, photography, and so on, also represents a recon- struction—in terms of a materialization of the ideas of the artist who creates it. But here, the quality of the results also becomes distinct as a moment of otherness and of something more. Jean Loup Sieff once said: “Photographic representation is, alas, never faithful to the sentiment that triggered it.”1 The reason for this is to be found, for example, in the length of time that painting requires and the consequent reflection of the creative artist on his or her actions.In creative work,the process of creating, the genesis of the work itself becomes part of the subject of consideration, and the results of reflection inevitably flow into the creative process. The result of this thus generally comprises a moment of otherness and of something more. It depends on whether the result of the process, the image or the sculpture, the etching or the installation, also has this reflecting as (part of) its subject. If one would like to comprehend Simon Raab’s images as reconstructions, then one is indeed—to a great extent—dealing with cultural and art-historical and perhaps also with political contexts (no reconstruction exists in a pure form). Cultural and historical reconstructions might occur when contents, forms, themes, or other epochs and/or cultural realms are assimilated, whereby it is always a case of new, independent positions not uninspired imitations. If a reconstruction becomes political, it always requires something else to support it. Political reconstructions extensively emphasize a reference to politics. This has less to do with specific situations in current politics than with political circumstances and historical repressions that are transmuted artistically. There is a Gandhi portrait by Simon Raab about which he said: “Gandhi personified an idea—paci- fism,non-violence,non-cooperation,and civil disobedience.India was freed from the colonialists and freedom movements were inspired around the world. Today, nationalism is pervasive in the world, wars continue, terrorism of the innocent persists and suppression of free expression grows. Alas, that is why Gandhi is abused and bloodied.”2 Here, Raab consciously parallelizes political and artistic action.The point at which they merge is a well-known portrait of the freedom fighter: the medial and political reconstruction is brought to a head. It is also similar with respect to the pictures of Queen Elizabeth II. Once again in Raab’s words: “We don’t get to vote in many of the most important decisions of our lives. … Queen Elizabeth shares this powerlessness with us.I respect her as a woman and mother and I respect her devout dedication to the role she was handed in 1952. . . . She was a beautiful new queen. … I find consti- tutional monarchy very cynical … an entire infrastructure of pomp and riches in a free society.”3 Simon Raab has painted three political-reconstructive images of the Queen: one as a beautiful young queen, one as a woman of advanced age, one as a golden skull. The first makes reference to devotion, the second to the end of the empire, and the third strives to expose the true face of monarchy, which is based on “plunder(ing) in the name of country and King.”4 Here, a political reconstruction is also manifested, a reconstruction that is linked to the reviving of historical portraits. At the same time, not all the works of Simon Raab are aimed at reconstruction to such an extent. Many of his works seem dissociative. For instance, when in a picture such as Face red Swipe 1 See Gerhard Charles Rump, Rekonstruktionen: Positionen zeitgenössischer Kunst (Berlin, 2010) and Jean Loup Sieff, 40 Years of Photography, Cologne, 1990. 2 Simon Raab: Parleau. exh. cat., Galerie Peter Zimmermann, Mannheim, 2010, p. 12. 3 Ibid., p. 14. 4 Ibid. FACE RED SWIPE YOU WERE JUST A THOUGHT Polymerfarben und Aluminium/Polyester auf Pressspanplatte Polymers and aluminium/polyester on press board Polymères et aluminium/polyester sur plaque d’aggloméré 2007, 120 × 90 cm