Matthias Hamann

"Eye against I"

25. November – 13. January 2007

Opening: 25th November 7pm




Matthias Hamann's multipartite, photographic assemblages have one principal motif, namely young men - contemporary figures, made out of flesh and blood, yet resembling statues which are set in marble and which, immobile in museums, testify to timeless ideals of beauty. The student of Timm Rautert, born in 1974 and living in Berlin, now presents his first solo exhibition with "EYE AGAINST I."Like a flock of birds, pictures of youths are gathered in an unordered series which is in no way a tableau. In between them, here and there, are pictures of seating areas in corners or of poplars upon a hill. The presentational mode is more associative than analytical, neither linear nor in any way schematic. There are various scenes: just before departure, or with beercans in a cellar somewhere. In the bath, in front of record shelves, while dressing or just doing nothing. Before the event or right next to it. And nevertheless, each picture presents a frontal view and opens into an utterly specific moment.Matthias Hamann's photographs do not search for those things which we already know. Clichés disintegrate through the immediacy with which Hamann approaches his protagonists. The flash of the camera penetrates far beyond the surface of the image, so that superficial beauty is transformed into a luminous authenticity which is in no way the opposite of appearance and beauty. Does the dramatic staging not begin already when gestures are rehearsed, hairstyles are trimmed, and clothes are pulled onto bodies? And is this theatricality not even more apparent when clothes are removed? The marmoreal bodies of boys presented in the museum-context of sculpture cabinets are brimming with hubris in self-oblivious performance. They dance across a swan's lake of vanity. Matthias Hamann places "Eye Against I" - visual habit in contrast to simple seeing. The poplars grow beyond the horizon, and above them flocks of birds swoop and soar.