Exhibition Cycle SIMULACRUM

Andrew Thomas: Transformer 1972

Air, dynamics, breath. The exhibition plays with archaic as well as contemporary elements and their energy, here consciously composed and leading to subversion, self-exploration, and change. An important reference point of Andrew Thomas' works is the psychoanalysis of C. G.Jung, which deals especially with archaic figures and collective images and processes.
The viewer encounters enigmatic symbols everywhere, visions and motifs, which the artist undermines and extends with queer interpretations and links to his own experiences. In this way the window installations are also an appropriation of the mysterious air currents that may be stored in the pictorial spaces of a collective unconsciousness. Air and air currents form a thematic leitmotif in Grimm's Fairy Tale No. 174:"The Owl" the flames of a burning down barn, where a giant owl had taken refuge are fed by a strong gust of wind. A queer reading of this tale tells of control and violence motivated by fear of the other. The window installations work through these themes using large setups made of quilted textile backgrounds and sculptural figures. Intense spaces emerge, reminiscent of theatre stages or the sets of an expressionist silent film. Rigid, strictly composed, and at times threatening they are nevertheless also very dynamic places – the scene of an evocation and transformation that will embrace the viewer. The sculptural objects are assembled like a puzzle and what is seen is only one of many variations. Much like in psychoanalysis, experiences and processes are brought onto the stage or evoked here in order to generate change. Forms and figures as archaic rituals of transformation are included. They appear as symbols, at the same time materializing as fetishes that build strong references to shamanistic practices and secret cultures, such as tarot and alchemy.
Transformer 1972 does not present a narrative or an interpretation, but a kind of kaleidoscope of images that illuminate themselves anew for each viewer – a mobile that is set in motion by a subterranean, yet also controllable air current by playful imagination and riddles. Symbolist colours and shapes are everywhere, and as owls, eyes, rays, limbs, and triangles (the pierced triangle is the alchemical symbol of air) they connect the individual scenes.
But also the city facades around the Werkstadt come refracted and mirrored into view and the central element of the work in the show window Ilsestraße is the mirror. Owl and mirror – these are also the attributes of Till Eulenspiegel, the shape-shifting trickster and transformer; a figure that also plays a role in C.G. Jung's psychology and (perhaps) appears in many guises in this exhibition. Owl and mirror –exploring the connections, the mysterious and attractive scenes and images always directed toward the dreams, fears, and playful imagination of one's own self.

Jule Böttner | kunst@werkstadt.berlin | WerkStadt e.V. | Emser Straße 124, 12051 Berlin