Lenz Geerk at Acappella / Naples

Lenz Geerk / Pears & Pearls

Text by Marialuisa Pastò

June 28 – 20 September, 2018

Galleria Acappella
Via Cappella Vecchia 8/A
80121, Naples

What escapes the eye is untold
truth, blind memory of something lost or never even possessed in the first
The look exerts its pressure and control in the room of the visible, the
space where scenes of knowledge and power outline
– as Michel de Certeau would say.
However, the
visible aspect of an object always
implies a part of
pretense. The truth
that it tells is mischief, and its trick is a form of comfort
legitimized by the manifest loyalty to what meets the eye.
The invisible is the
inner thread of the visible, the hidden part that
supports it an
d shows itself unrevealed. Discordant element between social and private space, the invisible
shows itself in the solitary confrontation that is true to the secret nature of
emotions. And that secret is tension, which vanishes under our eyes and
itself in its own mystery.
Feeling is a tool of memory that goes beyond what is immediately visible, to catch a glimpse
of an invisible reality.
The work of
Lenz Geerk (*1988) doesn’t
stage an
event, but rather a condition.
Color, sign and body language converge into the stylized outlines
of figures with a great expressive charge, impressing on the canvas what would inevitably fade away – a feeling or a state of
mind, so recognizable that the aesthetic experience
turns into shared experience, universal and collective.
In its figures, the complex idea resolves into the simplicity of the
shape, whose sign is both beginning and end
. “Simplicity is complexity
resolved” – we could stress, shifting the Brancusian thought.
In them, the physiognomy
is reduced to the essential in favor of other distinctive features. The eyes,
often half closed, hint at the declared will not to share personal information
or reveal any character traits. The stylization gets to the sign, so much so
that the apparent aphasia of the superficial figures becomes inescapable
postulate of the deeper figure.
Here takes place a
process that we could call denegation, a negation-affirmation, necessary to the
conquest of its evidentia.
Like characters
of nameless stories, the subjects offer themselves to the viewer in a bold and
discreet frontality that claims its right to exist as a private dimension. Far
from that form of public intimacy of the identity experiences that take place
Geerk’s painting contrasts the monocular
vision of self-representation, mythology of the contemporary world where the
perceptive universe of the ontological self is constantly renegotiated.
We are
confronted with two different kinds of pleasure for the look – voyeuristic and
The subjects,
unaware of being looked at, are captured in their own daily lives: ordinary
activities and familiar or common objects – a pearl in a hand, for example, a
plate of spaghetti about to be finished or a pear, ready to be eaten – become
rhetorical expedients aimed to establish a direct relation to the viewer.
The state of
aesthetic contemplation is where the ideal self of the observer emerges. In this immediate lived act, he loses
himself to the feeling of transposing into the aesthetic object.
And the
object of identification, in turn, gives back – referring to the German
philosopher and psychologist Theodor Lipps.
We then
became it, welcoming the legacy of its actions. The ‘empty’ space around it is
the necessary glue, a space beyond the line that is idealizing desire of unity.
The absence
of a spatial context is therefore the place where collective experience and
personal history meet again. The figures are like suspended presences that find
the essence of their own resolution in their non-collocation. The desire of
universality of the object
toward a state where
figure and context, permanent and temporary, merge into a space
that seems to house sole dancers, inviting the viewer to search in them for
mirrors to recognize themselves into.
Deprived of
the sense of time and pressed at the border between symbolic and abstract, they
embody a silent and permanent beauty. Their vulnerable sensuality, touchable
and far away, makes them innocent but not neutral figures. Born from a temporal
ambiguity that connects them to no time, they represent the incarnation of that
look that they are hiding at the same time.
Free figures that entrust the turmoil of feeling
to the evocative force of the synthesis of sign, and that – in this spasm –
never lose the elegance of the mystery they learned.

– Marialuisa Pastò