006

A—Z

Each image in the “A—Z” series shows a book being taken off a shelf or put back in by a hand or a pair of hands. The bookcovers are predominantly monochrome. They show neither text nor images. The position and gesture of the hand differs from image to image. The aspect ratios and dimensions of the canvases relate to the books depicted, which means that the paintings in the series slightly differ from one another not only in their motif, but also in their format.

A painting of a pair of hands putting a light green book into a book shelf

All 40 works: Untitled, 2021, acrylic on canvas, formats vary from 21 ×15 cm to 40 × 51 cm

A painting of a hand taking a light grey book from a book shelf
A painting of a black book being pushed by a finger onto a bookshelf
A painting of a hand taking a purple book from a book shelf
A painting of a hand taking a black square book from a book shelf
A painting of a person taking a black and blue book from a book shelf
A painting of a person taking a red magazine from a bookshelf
A painting of a hand taking a dark green book from a book shelf
A painting of a pair of hands taking a white book from a shelf of books
A painting of a hand taking a blue and brown book from a shelf of books

005

Image Runner

The two-part publication “Image Runner” was published by Hammann von Mier Verlag to accompany the eponymous presentation in the Galerie der Künstler:innen in 2020. The image part (open thread binding, 152 pages) includes 92 sheets taken from a larger body of work and created between 2017 and 2020. The accompanying brochure (stapled, 16 pages) contains the text “Man in office making copies using photocopier” by curator Juliane Bischoff and a list with details about the production of each sheet. Both parts are printed in 4/4c offset and measure 24 × 32 cm each. The text part was designed by artist and graphic designer Jan Erbelding. The production of the publication was supported by the LfA Förderbank and the Free State of Bavaria.

A stack of four identical books on a dark grey background
Two parts of the same publication unpacked from plastic laying next to each other on a dark grey background
An open book showing a blank page on the left and a drawing of a man misusing a printer on light green paper on the right
An open book showing black and white papers on the left and fragments of a watercolour of a man inspecting a blank sheet of paper
An open book showing solhouettes of hands on a black background a a photocopied sheet of paper
An open book showing blank sheets of white and light green paper
An open brochure with a long text entitled 'Man in office making copies using photocopier' by Juliane Bischoff
A detail of the spines of the book with a green yarn

004

Night Screens

A large blue painting of a man laying in bed seen from above staring at the empty white screen of a laptop

All 3 works: Untitled, 2020, acrylic on canvas, 200 × 160 cm

A large blue painting of a man laying in bed seen from above staring at the empty white screen of a laptop
A large blue painting of a man laying in bed seen from above staring at the empty white screen of a laptop

003

Key Operators

The series “Key Operators” focuses on the examination of immaterial work and the material handling of paper, which serves as a carrier of information, ideas and modes of representation. The watercolours and prints are based on stock images, generic material from image databases produced and used for illustrative purposes in advertising and the press. They depict people, primarily men, in office situations. By handling paper, computers and printers, they suggest cognitive but repetitive work. The devices are part of the image as watercolour depictions of the concrete technical machines as well as the result of their use. The pictorial space is additionally expanded by to scale prints of hands and their silhouettes, implying work taking place in the background. Certain works consist of watercolour on paper, others have additional inkjet-printed sections.

A watercolour painting on paper of a man in a blue jumper and kakis wearing a blue cap attending to a large photocopy machine

All 18 works: Untitled, 2018/2019, watercolour and inkjet-print on paper, 32 × 24 cm

A watercolour of a man at a desk looking at a number of blank sheets of paper
Two men conversing in an office like setting holding empty sheets of paper
A watercolour of a man in a checkered shirt looking at an empty sheet of paper
A watercolour of two nearly identical men in checkered shirts looking at an empty sheets of paper
A watercolour of a woman in a black suit handling blank sheets of paper
A watercolour of a man in a suit cut in half by a drawing of the same man in teh lower half of the image
A watercolour of a man in a blue shirt organising blank sheets of paper with a large hand coming in from the top of the image
A watercolour of a man in a dark blue shirt at a large format printer with a large hand coming in from the top of the image
A fragmented watercoloured and printed painting of a man in a checkered shirt looking at an empty sheet of paper

002

Alternatives

The series “Alternatives” depicts a person with rake in four similar paintings. All four motifs relate to four nearly identical photographs previously created for this purpose. The painterly translation of the motifs results in an added layer of difference between the images.

A painting of a man in a grey puffer jacket holding a rake standing on a leaf covered meadow

All 4 works: Untitled, 2019, acrylic on MDF, 40 × 30 cm

A painting of a man in a grey puffer jacket holding a rake standing on a leaf covered meadow
A painting of a man in a grey puffer jacket holding a rake standing on a leaf covered meadow
A painting of a man in a grey puffer jacket holding a rake standing on a leaf covered meadow

001

Background

The work “Background” consists of 27 manual reproductions based on a found advertising photograph. The advertised object is omitted in favour of the background. Over 27 days, 27 variations of the same motif were created in the studio through the repeated attempt to establish a relationship of similarity between the photographic template and the painted image. The imprecision of the painterly process results in a multitude of images that are similar but never exactly alike.

A water colour painting on paper of a grove of eucalyptus trees, with a group in the foreground and one in the back and light falling through the leafy canopy from the upper right corner

All 27 works: Untitled, 2017/2018, watercolor on paper, 42 × 29.7 cm

A water colour painting on paper of a grove of eucalyptus trees, with a group in the foreground and one in the back and light falling through the leafy canopy from the upper right corner
A water colour painting on paper of a grove of eucalyptus trees, with a group in the foreground and one in the back and light falling through the leafy canopy from the upper right corner
A water colour painting on paper of a grove of eucalyptus trees, with a group in the foreground and one in the back and light falling through the leafy canopy from the upper right corner
A water colour painting on paper of a grove of eucalyptus trees, with a group in the foreground and one in the back and light falling through the leafy canopy from the upper right corner
A water colour painting on paper of a grove of eucalyptus trees, with a group in the foreground and one in the back and light falling through the leafy canopy from the upper right corner
A water colour painting on paper of a grove of eucalyptus trees, with a group in the foreground and one in the back and light falling through the leafy canopy from the upper right corner
A water colour painting on paper of a grove of eucalyptus trees, with a group in the foreground and one in the back and light falling through the leafy canopy from the upper right corner
A water colour painting on paper of a grove of eucalyptus trees, with a group in the foreground and one in the back and light falling through the leafy canopy from the upper right corner
A water colour painting on paper of a grove of eucalyptus trees, with a group in the foreground and one in the back and light falling through the leafy canopy from the upper right corner

007

Take Your Time

Boutwell Schabrowsky, Munich, 06.05.2021 – 12.06.2021
The solo exhibition “Take your time” presented 40 works from the series “A—Z”, lined up in regular intervals on the walls of the gallery. Two texts and a film accompanied the exhibition. The essays “The Space of Translation” by Peter Westwood and “Repeatedly Reaching For Questions Not Quite to Grasp” by Johanna Strobel deal with media translation processes and the relationship of reproduction and original. The film “How To”, made in collaboration with filmmaker Max Boutwell Draper, restages various processes leading up to the exhibition and is narrated by a voiceover that provides detailed instructions on how to produce the paintings shown in the exhibition.

A gallery space with white walls, a wooden floor and ten small paintings hanging on the wall
A gallery space with six paintings on the wall, a window to the left and a door to the right
Five paintings of hands holding books on white walls, a blue and a yellow book in the foreground
Eight paintings of hands holding books on white walls
Three paintings of hands holding books on white walls
A view of a gallery space with several paintings and a large window looking onto a street
A painting of a hand holding a book hanging on a column with a view of bushes and a street seen through a large window in the background

006

Repeatedly Reaching For Answers Not Quite to Grasp, Johanna Strobel

Figuratively speaking I imagine Jonah’s paintings being on the high noon position of a circular line of image distribution; as if his works would surface from a referential stock archive to take a deep breath before becoming references for subsequent works or diving back as documentation jpegs into Hito Steyerl’s swarm circulation of the poor image where there is no tracing back to a primary original anymore (Steyerl, 2009). While Jonah’s handcrafted paintings are inherently as authentic and unique as can be, their motifs come from a long lineage of simultaneous reproductions of similar versions and reaffirmations that don’t allow a tracing back of what references what.

005

The Space of Translation, Peter Westwood

The act of making a translation might be thought of as seeking the real or endeavoring to find veracity. However, given its interpretive nature, a translation, and its original text can also be thought of as slightly uneven parallel acquaintances, cohabiting a space made discernable for its atmosphere of variation and difference. Positing translation as essentially embedded within every act of speech, Mexican poet Octavio Paz, asserts that primacy and stability within a text are always in doubt. Paz questions the hierarchical relationships between original and translation, claiming that ‘...all texts are original because every text is distinctive.’ (Barnstone 1992, p. 5).

004

Image Runner

Galerie der Künstler:innen, Munich, 08.09.2020 – 04.10.2020
The presentation “Image Runner” was part of the series Debutant:innen by Berufsverband Bildender Künstlerinnen und Künstler München und Oberbayern e. V. In addition to my works, individual presentations by Helena Pho Duc and the artist duo Hennicker-Schmidt were on view in the gallery space. These were complemented by the artists' individual publications. My presentation “Image Runner” was accompanied by the eponymous publication, published by Hammann von Mier Verlag. I additionally showed five large-scale works on canvas and nine works on paper from the series “Key Operators”.

Two blue paintings hanging in a large gallery space with an open arch leading to a second space
A blue painting of a young man laying in bed looking at a brightly lit laptop screen with a second painting seen through an open arch in the background left of the painting
A blue painting of a young man laying in bed looking at a brightly lit laptop screen
A large painting of a man standing at a photocopier in a library hung in a large gallery space
A group of nine framed watercolours hung on a white wall to the right and a large blue painting seen through an open arch in a second space on the left
A group of nine framed watercolours hung on a white wall to the left and a single framed watercolour painting hung on a wall to the right
A group of nine framed watercolours hung on a white wall

003

Man in office making copies using photocopier, Juliane Bischoff

Jonah Gebka’s publication “Image Runner” is based on a series of drawings and copies that he has produced and developed in the last three years. They show apparently typical actions and gestures of office work, generic pictures of white-collar work without any specific context and not set at any exact point in time, but which are undeniably connected to the present. At this moment, in June 2020, they even resonate with the current situation of the Covid-19 pandemic, a collective state of being isolated and bound to a restricted living and working environment. In this text I examine, in relation to Jonah’s publication, aspects of production, reproduction and the processing of pictures, the visibility and invisibility of work within power structures, and the embodiment of social norms and standardizations.

002

How To

Galerie der Künstler:innen, Munich, 25.06.2019 – 30.06.2019
Part of the group show “Tacker”. I presented nine works of the series “Alternatives” as well as the publication “How To”. The series shows concrete actions, such as copying, vacuuming or raking leaves. The multiple realization of these motifs in paint and the resulting, slightly different images are installed on the wall as an interrupted sequence. The take away publication “How To” was located in a sober brochure box attached to the wall. It combines found representations from various assembly instructions with my own drawings. The instructions informational aesthetics are progressively called into question by their repetition, distortion and exaggerated juxtaposition.

Five paintings of of men raking leaves and hoovering a sofa hanging on the walls of a light flooded gallery
Five paintings of of men raking leaves and hoovering a sofa hanging on the walls of a gallery
A painting of a man photocopying and a booklet with drawings hanging on the walls of a gallery
A painting of a man photocopying hanging on the wall of a gallery

001

Diploma

Academy of Fine Arts, Munich, 07.02.2018 – 11.02.2018
A selection of small-format works on paper, the series “Background” consisting of 24 parts, and the publication “Companion” were on view at my diploma show. The works dealt with questions of reproduction as well as the relationship between motif and edge of an image. In addition to empty landscape views, whose romantic promise is broken by analog and mechanical reproductions, some of the works show busy men pursuing ordering activities. In the take away publication “Companion” two anonymous protagonists talk about the surface of a picture-like object.

An white exhibition space with a row of five paintings on the left and a large group of paintings on the right
Twenty-four similar paintings of a group of trees hung in four rows of six
A row of five paintings on a white wall with a door leading to another room on the right
A drawing of a man holding a lamp and a green-monochrome watercolour painting of a forest hung on a white wall
An ink-drawing of empty canvas in a forest, an acrylic painting of a man raking leaves and a purple watercolour of a tree falling
A watercolour painting of a man in a checkered suit lying on a checkered cover on grass hanging on a white wall