Drawing Room announces its new exhibition 'Noi Fuhrer POLAR'

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Drawing Room announces its new exhibition 'Noi Fuhrer POLAR'
Installation view. Photo: Helge Mundt, Hamburg. Courtesy: The artist and Drawing Room, Hamburg.

by Asta von Mandelsloh (Translation: Lucinda Rennison)

HAMBURG.- In each of Fuhrer’s images, there are objects or elements that are accentuated as white spots against the charcoal drawing. In “On watch” (2022), this is the upper edge of a towel that the woman in the bikini is holding up as a screen so that her companion can get changed unseen. It was generated by omissions of the charcoal pencil, by interruptions in the otherwise straight lines drawn downwards. How glaring the edge of the towel appears, almost as if it were not an analogue drawing but the image was glinting at us from a digital display. This effect in the visual perception of the images results from Fuhrer’s mechanical drawing technique, with which she sets scenes and images onto the paper that could also have been created by software. As if they were not meticulously drawn by hand. Contemporary people’s everyday lives are sustained by constant contact with digital interfaces such as CGI (Computer Generated Imagery) and virtual realities. The eye constantly drifts back and forth between the display and the ‘real’ world. This meandering unsettles our perceptions of reality, of the off-screen world.

And so, similarly uncertain and unstable images emerge as Fuhrer translates technical visual languages onto paper using the analogue process. Whether film, photography, VHS video or digital images, the artist derives her drawing technique from both old and new technical image reproductions. When transferring the stylistic means and effects of a type of technical image creation, it is obvious that the reproduction of light and shadow will play a major part. Fuhrer accentuates forms and objects in her paintings, not by drawing them but by leaving them out. In “Hose” (2022), the garden hose writhes under the pressure of the jet of water it is emitting. The water jet, like the edge of the towel, stands out in dazzling white against the lines of its background, the floor tiles. The white surfaces in the drawings are like an overexposure in photography, with luminous, refractive image elements or darker details. Fuhrer also uses the imitation of technical image reproduction to trigger doubts: doubts, for example, about how much the depicted scene still corresponds to the experienced moment.

In most of her pictures, Fuhrer traces situations she has observed from memory. Her drawings fray and crumble at the edges, similar to dream images. Sometimes, a memory already disintegrates in the moment of its tracing, the precision of forms and details eludes her. The gallery visitors can add their own perspective to the fading edges of the drawings at will, assembling them into a private narrative. In “Tunnel” (2022), the view from the passenger seat rushes along the illuminated road ahead. A route that could be anywhere and yet evokes specific associations for each viewer. There is an ordinariness in these images that allows them to be filled with our own memories, and emotionally charged.

Each and every one of us can think themselves into the passenger seat for a moment and supplement the edges and recesses of the image in their mind.

Occasionally, it is particularly obvious that the viewer is taking the artist’s point of view, as in “Printer” (2022), where the tips of the shoes serve as an indication that another person’s gaze defines the image’s framing. Fuhrer insists on the human gaze and its perspective in her graphic descriptions of a situation. “I think this intricate notion, point of view, has become particularly relevant in the age of images produced and manipulated by algorithms.” Her mostly large-scale drawings could be attempts to understand how meaning can still be attributed to the human perspective, with its special way of observing and thinking about something. The white spots should also be understood metaphorically - fading memories, untapped knowledge - which, with their luminous presence, open doors for the viewers into the extended depth of the drawings, but also into their own worlds of thought.

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