Nils Bleibtreu Solo October 26th. 2018
Opening Friday Oct, 26th / 5-8PM / 2018 – Dec. 12th.
Nils Bleibtreu – Pulp Abstraction
“That’s all people have got left on the earth!”
The zone is a curious place. All signs of civilization – garden fences, industrial buildings, amusement parks – are decayed. They were left behind suddenly. Years have passed since the devastating incident – a nuclear accident, an alien landing, a meteorite impact? Nature devours the leftovers, sparing only the indigestible: car paint, corrugated iron, styrofoam.
This is the setting of the open world game S.T.A.L.K.E.R. The player crosses the zone as one of these stalkers – fearless treasure hunters –, looking for artefacts. Again and again, s/he is confronted with a rumour: In the heart of this ruined scenery, they say, there is a room ready to be discovered, in which every wish will be fulfilled.
Nils Bleibtreu’s works derive from the zone. They are the mystical findings of the stalkers; they are the fences which one must leave behind. They are those relicts of humankind under which you can seek shelter from radioactive rain or stray dogs. They are also: Attempts at mapping the textures of an open world. Here, the graphic surfaces of space become narrative tools. Details yearn to be explored, unfolded. In Bleibtreu’s works, textures are inhabited by the easiness of tales told, of adventures.
Bleibtreu is an architect of ruins contemplating both the act of the catastrophe and that which is lost in its aftermath. His works report from a forfeited society still – and permanently – capable of acting upon the present. A single gust of wind could provoke total collapse. Yet, Bleibtreu also teaches us: the strange peace of the ruins, where hope does not die. It is the knowledge of the artist: Somewhere behind the fences and dangers there is – the wishing well, a paradise, utopia.
Had Nils Bleibtreu played the game S.T.A.L.K.E.R., he would have wished, at the end of his journey – and we are sure of that – the same as exhausted Redrick in the original book: HAPPINESS FOR EVERYBODY, FREE, AND LET NO ONE BE LEFT BEHIND.