MORE THAN A BOOK PROJECT
by Jonas Schenk
Kunst & Denker Contemporary presents Felicitas Rohden´s exhibition „MORE THAN A BOOK PROJECT“ from the 20th May – 31st August 2017
„Watch the sky, earth, ocean and all that shines and crawls and flies and swims: it all shaped, because it consists of numbers; take them away and all will dwindle... and ask, what it is, that delights while dancing, and the number will answer: „Behold, it is I. Gaze upon the beauty of the well shaped body.“ (Augustinus)
A few years ago, the Californian artist Tauba Auberbach published a book, that very briefly tells a story of the transformation from surface to space. Felicitas Rohden too, consequently investigates the relations of bodies and objects towards the surrounding space, plunging into the interface of physical-mathematical models and their visualizaton thru graphics. For the exhibition, she worked on theoretical models of the so-called Poincaré conjecture * of the mathematician from 1904. As one of the co-founders of the topology, Poincaré dealt with 2-dimensional surfaces in the 3-dimensional space. The topological space, and thus its surfaces, are permanently altered as opposed to the Euclidean space.
The displayed objects and screen prints appear clear and sterile - quite in the sense of mathematical logic – but they are somewhat stubbornly attached to the body by the choice of materials such as latex and their shape. The basic form of the grid is found throughout in Rohden´s works, making it possible to figure volumes and surfaces in relation to the surrounding space.
The installation "Elements for Poincaré", 2017, consisting of nine different objects is presented as a varation of a bookshelf. What seems to look like minimalistic and oversized sculptures actually turn out to be book objects in which Rohden has recorded her in-depth research on Poincaré, each book dealing with a different subject. One of the books contains collaborative drawings with the mathematician Prof. Hans Vernaeve on Poincaré.
The drawings, like the objects themselves, also illustrate mathematical formulas, attempting to find new possibilities for visualization. The exterior of the books also make references to the theories and represent snapshots of the seemingly variable.
For the series of screen prints "Gender of surface", in 2017, Rohden initially produced real models. Being unable to guess size extent of the models, one can only assume the correlations between object and space. After the photo is taken and then screen printed, thus the image being altered from the analog to the digital and back again the works assume a change of how visual habits change by new forms of digital representation and whether these habits are even still valid. The imagined space that is prescribed by the central perspective, which has been developed during the Renaissance, is thus fundamentally questioned by virtual restructuring. By the means of ubiquitous digitality the boundarries between physical and algorithmized spaces appear to be neither possible nor meaningful. Perspective is no longer a mathematical object, but a tool for creating new images, that explore the psychology of perception.
* Poincaré's theory, which was verified only in 2002, states that a surface is never static, but always elastic, since every geometric object can be deformed into a ball, as long as it has no hole. Although a surface may seem curved as a volume in space, ultimately it is only the membrane of a surface.