Mastercopy, 2009

Lars Breuer, Sebastian Freytag, Guido Münch
Pori Art Museum
44 pages
21 x 24,5 cm
  • Interview Pia Hovi-Assad
    A conversation between Pia Hovi-Assad and Lars Breuer, Sebastian Freytag and Guido Münch

    „All living art is the history of the future. The greatest artists, men of science and political thinkers, come to us from the future – from the opposite direction to the past.“
    (Wyndham Lewis, 1922)

    PH-A: The Media Point is like an encyclopaedia of art, philosophy and popular culture. What is the „trialogue“? The conversation between you three and your ideals; in what way do past ideals become apparent in your art?

    Sebastian Freytag: The Media Point is more than an encyclopaedia of art, it is a accumulation of ideas – an Olympus of visions or maybe a waste dump of void visions from the past. We made copies of book covers in our bookshelves. By choosing some of the copies and putting them in a certain order we want to express our desires towards ideas and to create contrasts, upgrading or downgrading the content. The copywall is a compilation of keywords, and it can be read as a big collage of visions and ideas. There is no conclusion that can be drawn, no logical order of the whole. But all decisions can be explained. Ludwig Wittgenstein, Star Wars and Valori Plastici might not have something in common in the same way that Jaques-Louis David, H.-G. Wells‘ Time Machine and Lascaux have nothing in common, but quoting the titles creates a deep impact and leads to an unexplainable clash in the mind.
    We created the compilation together so that the recipient cannot see any specific authorship.

    Guido Münch: All influences meet on the same surface and can neutralise or amplify each other. Just as on an equalizer you have three different modes: positive, negative or zero.

    PH-A: Each one of you has created a work in the Wing. The space turned out to be a big installation in which the works are in dialogue with each other and with the space. Can the Wing be seen as ‚your kind of pavilion‘, a Gesamtkunstverk?

    Lars Breuer: It is possible to look at the works in the Wing in a very classical way. If you enter the room you can concentrate on Guido‘s painting before walking over to my big triptych. But you can also consider the presentation as a single installation consisting of different media. We think that ‚composition‘ is not only a question of individual artworks – it is a question of presentation in general. The idea of Gesamtkunstwerk affects us a lot and in this we will follow architects and colleagues.

    Guido Münch: The idea of a Gesamtkunstwerk can also fall apart and the artworks start to compete with each other.

    Sebastian Freytag: All big movements of art lead to the idea of a Gesamtkunstwerk even if the specific term might be younger. Bauhaus did, and Russian Avantgarde and L‘Esprit nouveau did as well. If you look back, you find this idea in the past such as in Brunelleschi‘s Cappella dei Pazzi.

    PH-A: How important is it for you to distinguish the techniques and materials you use in your works?

    Lars Breuer: If you look at our exhibitions you will always find different media and also different techniques. Posters are facing paintings. A monolithic figurative oil painting faces a serial structure of prints. Even the individual works themselves consist of arrangements made of different structures. Techniques and materials are part of the composition.

    PH-A: Could you define the terms:

    A prototype is an original type, form or instance serving as a typical example, basis or standard for other things of the same type. Thus a prototype is made for reproduction, and is itself always a combination of different elements of ‚older‘ reproductions and/ or prototypes.

    We know that the unique self-identity of every artist is determined by others, who mirror him or her.

    A modern expression for ‚Mastercopy‘ might be ‚pirate copy‘ or ‚fake‘ or ‚unoriginal reproduction‘. We have to notice that only the work is a ‚copy‘. The artist is the neutral element and arranger of affirmation.

    REPRODUCTION is the debut album by the British synthpop band THE HUMAN LEAGUE. The album was released in October 1979 through VIRGIN RECORDS Ltd.
    One first needs to remove all constrictions of awareness before activities such as choosing, reproduction, exploiting, and modifying can be perceived.

    Raubkopie versus pirate copy
    Maybe you can be such a good pirate that you don‘t have to steal anything anymore. (Jack Sparrow)

    A logo is a graphic mark or emblem commonly used by commercial enterprises, organisations and even individuals to aid and promote instant public recognition. (Wikipedia)

    PH-A: The cube, which you have created in the Sculpture Garden, is an artwork/installation situated between two exhibition spaces, between two different types of architecture, between different types of art. It functions as a link between modern and contemporary art. Was this your intention or did it happen by chance?

    Guido Münch: The Sculpture Garden is a field between the old building from the 19th century and the new part from the 1990s. The cube and the Sculpture Garden can be seen as a link between the past and the future just like the monolith in Stanley Kubrick‘s movie Space Odyssey – shifting back and forth on the time continuum. Maybe the cube is a mark of the present between the past and the future – like a futuristic astronaut in a 19th-century hotel room. The passage of time is merely what the human mind thinks is happening. We are in fact moving through space-time, but our brain is incapable of realising this. We are not aware of the motion of the Earth and we still see the Sun rising up – not the motion of the Earth. It is the same with time which seems to be passing. But a physical fact is that the past, the present and the future exist on the same level of time (theory of the block universe).

    PH-A: The cube in Pori contains the same elements as the cube you created for your exhibition in Ludwigshafen, but the cube in Pori has been created in a new way: Konsortium working together to create one artwork. Is this the first time you used this new method?

    Sebastian Freytag: We are just starting to develop this possibility. The reference walls with the photocopies function in a similar way as collective works.

    Lars Breuer: The differences to Ludwigshafen are not too big. There, the cube formed the ground for paintings on canvas, whereas in Pori we painted directly on the cube. But both cubes work like basic architectural elements, with four sides for three artists and one side for references. An architectural structures becomes the surface for intellectual content. In Pori, it was a new experience to work on an outdoor sculpture. This is an interesting path we will follow.

    PH-A: You have created another exhibition in Pori Art Museum‘s Project Room, entitled Cover Version. The exhibition consists of works from the Maire Gullichsen Art Foundation, which is one of the museum‘s main collections. How do you see your art connecting with French, Scandinavian and Finnish Modernism, for example the Finnish modernist Lars-Gunnar Nordström?

    Sebastian Freytag: The collection of the museum can be regarded as a memory bank. This memory bank is part of a bigger continuum, just like a server in which different memory banks are interconnected. From there you have access to all artworks. Artists have always had the possibility to enter the memory pool of the bank to use it as a source. Geographic boundaries play less and less a role in this. In Pori, we just entered the bank and asked for credit. We borrowed some older art forms and used them as an investment in our new works. Several years earlier Unto Pusa did the same when he referenced Robert Delaunay.

    PH-A: If there is a connection between you and these artists, how does this appear in your own artistic production?

    Lars Breuer: Our basic approach in the Cover Version exhibition was quite different: Guido referred to an Unto Pusa painting by using the same format and a similar composition. In my own painting (Motorradlärm, 2001) I used new colours to create a counterpart to a piece by Lars-Gunnar Nordström. And finally, Sebastian used on the other side of the gallery a motif from Lars- Gunnar Nordström to create a serial structure which serves as a background pattern for a series of framed prints by Sam Vanni. So Sebastian placed modular elements on a serial structure. PH-A: Konsortium has created a series of postcards for the Pori Art Museum in connection with the two exhibitions. How do the postcards reflect Varvara Stepanova‘s statement „Study the old but create the new?“ that you use as your motto?

    Sebastian Freytag: These postcards should be used by future artist to refer to our work just as we did with former postcards of the museum. Artis est monstrare artem.

    PH-A: Pori Art Museum‘s pedagogical program is very extensive, and the pedagogical unit co-operates with local kindergartens and schools. Children have had a chance to learn to know your art and create their own versions of your works in a workshop. How does it feel to be copied and to be studied as a „mastercopy“? Guido Münch: The new generation of artists has already arisen.

    Pori / Düsseldorf, 2010