Thilo Droste: Ego

Cat. Kunstverein Augsburg

Exhibition catalog, edited by Kunstverein Augsburg
texts (German/English) by Paul Brodowsky, Luisa Heese
112 p with 110 coloured illustrations
280 x 240 mm, softcover

ISBN 978-3-86442-104-4

(out of print)

Predetermined Breaking Point

We approach the astonishing works by Thilo Droste rather helplessly until he takes us by the hand and leads us into his not so roundabout world. The first comprehensive exhibition catalog of the Berlin-based South German artist (born 1977) begins with a photo of a granite slab: DEM UNBEKANNTEN ARTIST [TO THE UNKNOWN ARTIST]. This creates a nice contrast to the commemorative medal for Hans Holbein the Elder at the entrance to the Holbein house, the location of the solo exhibition of Thilo Droste’s work by the Augsburger Kunstverein. During the private view, it can only be entered by whoever has the guts to walk across a large, loosely laid out mirror glass surface measuring 25 square meters; otherwise there is only the back entrance. Beyond the mirror surface is a table with old, disused china, the classic paraphernalia of the wedding-eve party. In the catalog, Thilo Droste heads the corresponding spread of images with a fine quote from Ambroce Bierce: »Calamities are of two kinds: misfortune to ourselves, and good fortune to others.« The small series of images »OMEN EST NOMEN« and »Wallpaper« show the photograph of a piece of graffiti: + \ O, which Thilo Droste caps with the addition of an H, a . on the \ and an L, and turns it into his name in violation of the code of honor of the sprayer. The next day, the H, the . and the L were painted over. Thilo Droste pasted over the piece of wall with a motif wallpaper: Brick. Again the following day, it is torn down and adorned with the message: IT FELT LIKE A KISS; the Décollage now hangs in the exhibition space. Ever since the Affichistes, Pop artists, minimalists and conceptualists had given the original meanings of each appropriated or used object a nudge, sometimes even added a dent, the issue of appropriation is dealt with behind closed doors. Thilo Droste can expand on this with astonishing variations and finds back to an artist-self that enjoys watching and figuring out. And he has prepared the following quote: »A moment of happiness outweighs millennia of posthumous fame.« – quoted after Friedrich II.

Kunstverein Augsburg, 28/6–31/8/2014