Robert Seidel: F60

22 April 2023 – 03 June 2023


Larger than life, Robert Seidel portrays four people, three of them with white helmets clearly recognizable as workers Against a loamy backdrop or between the struts and pipes of massive machines, they become recognizable as miners. In eastern Saxony and other regions of Lusatia, lignite is mined in huge opencast mines. The F60 conveyor bridge used there lends the exhibition its title. In addition to people, Robert Seidel shows paintings of factory vehicles and fossils. These skeletons are witnesses of times long past and come to light when the ground is excavated. Soon there will be no more dredging in Lusatia.
For more than a year, Robert Seidel visited the region again and again, cycled around the deep pits, met people, listened, inspected excavators and took many photos.
At first glance, the images of the four people portrayed look exactly like photos taken casually – one woman even has her eyes closed. Robert stays very close to the photographic originals and transfers the captured moment in all authenticity into painting. He sits for months on a portrait, devoting himself with sensitivity and great accuracy to the folds of the jacket and the play of shadows around the eyes. Without intervening or aestheticizing, he shows what and whom he has seen: Sibylle, Christian, Siegmund and Jenny.
Robert Seidel has made this observing, documenting attitude his standard and finds in it a sensitive as well as impressive way to confront the explosive and highly topical subject of structural change in energy supply.
Robert’s interest in machines, mechanisms and forms meets his empathetic, attentive approach to the people for whom this profound upheaval means very individual consequences and changes. He speaks of the great global challenges by getting very close to the people. And he does not merely document the moment of upheaval, he honors and preserves it.