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Nicola Ricciardi
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Frank Hülsbömer: CONTROL

Ex Galleria Kaufmann Repetto, via dell’Orso 16, Milano (IT)

 

We live in an age in which our daily actions are marked by attempts to exercise control over what surrounds us. We consume an unprecedented amount of information — from the widest overview on the performance of global markets to the smallest details of the intimate life of our neighbors, with the sole purpose of being able to predict and therefore control events and phenomena far and near.

Fascinated by — and at the same time subject to — this tension, Frank Hülsbömer has devoted his artistic practice to creating a parallel universe that is somehow controllable. In front of the lens of his camera parade not unpredictable human beings but inanimate objects, which are arranged according to an order that reflects the accuracy of items, and at the same time the randomness of nature. The artist, like the conductor of an orchestra of pure matter, leads the forms and produces photographs, videos and installations. It is for the viewer to attempt to bring a meaning to the images, often becoming lost, and to exert a form of control over what he is observing.

Much of the strength of Hülsbömer’s works arises from this tension between the artist’s attempt to control his subjects and the attempt by the viewer to control what he’s watching. A tension that can be boosted or loosened by the titles of the works, which may facilitate the decoding of the image or leave room for endless possibilities of meaning. Thus expanding or shortening the gap between the intention of the artist and the viewer’s ability of interpretation. This generates a power game that never ends: we all want to have control, but control remains an instinct that we cannot fully satisfy.

Link to exhibition page.