Christof Mascher: 1979

Cat. Mönchehaus Museum Goslar

Exhibition catalogue, edited by Oliver Zybok
texts (German/English) by Bettina Ruhrberg, Oliver Zybok
72 p with 34 coloured illustrations
250 x 200 mm, softcover

ISBN 978-3-940953-05-6

19,80 €

The Internal Labratory

Discussion of the facets of dreams leads to confusion and fascination. Dreams confront us with worlds of experience which present themselves, in a manner which is as evident as it is mysterious, differently from everyday reality. This distinction is what links dreams with intoxication and madness, states of being which are regarded as exceptional and are either infrequent or accessible to few. Dreams stand for a different, transcendental plane, which cannot be verified beyond doubt. Even though we cannot remember or understand our dreams in detail, we know that they exist and that we live with them. I mean not only the dreams we experience during sleep, but also those which experience during the day, when we have withdrawn, immersed in our thoughts. In an interview in 1997, David Lynch said »Daydreams were the most important. I have them when sitting quietly relaxed in my armchair, letting my thoughts drift. Asleep, you can’t steer your dreams, but I like to plunge into a dream-world which I myself have created or discovered, a world I have sought out for myself.« Christof Mascher shares Lynch’s opinion: »I am fascinated by dreams as such and how they function. They have the structure of a story. I want to capture the feeling of dreams. For me the best thing is to combine simple stories with the feeling of a dream—with the abstractions that are possible in a dream.« Even though the daydream cannot be regarded as the sole startingpoint for Mascher’s work, it is certainly important, especially when one takes account of one particular phenomenon, that of the fantastical. Mascher’s pictorial worlds are characterized by strange hybrid beings which can always be categorized as fantastic and threatening. These figures are linked in a particular way with a power that comes across as alarming, an energy which appears itself as a fundamental phenomenon in his work to date. In their various manifestations they stand for a permanent metamorphosis, for a continual rhythm of shapechanging, to which the human being is also subject. According to Mascher, the human being cannot be defined, any more than an animal can, in fixed, stakedout boundaries, but is, on the contrary, an organism that can change its externals depending on the situation. Birdlike hybrid creatures occupy an important place in numerous picture compositions, as well as in the miniature drawings on veneer where such figures can be found in ever-varying forms. His teacher Walter Dahn describes this as a »post-War-IV atmosphere.« The small catalogue is the first solo publication of the 1979 in Hanover born artist.

Galerie der Stadt Remscheid, 16/8–24/10/2008
Mönchehaus Museum für Moderne Kunst Goslar, 30/8–28/8/2008