Preview: 24 May, 2:30 - 8:30 pm

Exceptional opening hours during CHOICES Gallery Weekend:
Sunday, 25 May, 12-7 pm

His temporal topography will be complete: he will have both the magmatic form and the progressive form of reality. P.P. Pasolini, The Divine Mimesis, 1964

Luka Fineisen provokes physical phenomena. She provokes them in both senses of the term, daring them to occur, defying them with all due respect, though her work is pervaded with an understated, highly distantiated sense of humor. In the same polysemic, informal register, you could even say she “goes looking for them”. Everything we will see in this first exhibition at the Claudine Papillon gallery demonstrates that she has found them. Claiming that her medium is her material may sound like a tautology. Yet her work stands at the exact crossroads of a number of exercises – science, experimentation, contemplation, the elaboration of a concrete poetics – meant to bring on the fullest possible occurrence of matter through the artist’s intervention. The paradox of this unfolding of matter to its fullest extent lies in the ascetic means she resorts to. It is by showing simple forms that Luka Fineisen generates the obvious. The means used here are elementary. Glamor, here, is a mediator, transformed by the display of its own fragility, and made to serve radical aesthetic intents.

Variations on breath, 1. Two electric fans pulverize, within the confined space of a transparent box, particles of metal that seem to amalgamate randomly, though in strict accordance with the laws of physics, to form sumptuous patterns, glittering explosions, shimmering opacities. In the wildly mobile intervals between the material’s stable states, the viewer may feel a fleeting pang of disgust as the precious specks take on the aspect of a swarm of gnats. In this piece, as in many of Luka Fineisen’s works, the connectors of the devices are visually enhanced, displaying the artifice underpinning this imitation of nature. Minimalist aesthetics and industrial references are often shown side by side in order to bring to light, through their obvious contrast, the pure poetry of the result.

Variations on breath, 2. Large soap bubbles, frozen in the perfection of their fragility, unbalance the viewer’s experience. They look as though they’d just landed on the floor, as though they’d just recently spread out when touching down. Displaying the moment of contact as though it had just occurred contaminates the very ground, the unavoidable prospect of the bubbles bursting turning it into a fantasmatic seismic zone.
As an echo of this piece, other bubbles seem to be in motion, frozen in the aquatic transparency of the resin that holds them. The mural format, a masterful concession to codes of representation, is emphasized by the inclination of one of the thick, rectangular slabs. Another, vertical version conjures tapestries, waterfalls, the passage of time in an hourglass, in a complementary variation on the immobilization of the mobile. You think you are seeing an opulent and flattering material flowing and amalgamating: when you look more closely, you realize it has been frozen in its own splendor. Clusters, dripping, melting and collapse are the favored processes of a work which, however it treats its medium, always aims to materialize an extremely tenuous state, or even an instant of matter. Fluid mixtures, outcrops, thermal or chemical modifications: all of the artist’s practices display the constant transformation of matter, while allowing the viewer to see freeze-framed excerpts of it.

Luka Fineisen usually works in situ on a very large scale, elaborating active, autonomous and highly impressive devices based on a dual principle: invading and redefining space. They confront us with paradoxical bodies, both evanescent and material: fluids, foams in motion, steam, emitted and circulating. A gallery exhibition, being in a more restricted space, establishes the same type of relationships, forces and tensions on a different scale. Far from being a concession to format or a quote of larger pieces, the “portable” work is almost an extension of them, driven by a crucial imperative: concentrating the same stakes in order to give them the utmost visibility.

Eléonore Marie Espargilière

Luka FINEISEN – born 1974 in Offenburg, Germany
Fineisen studied at Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, and now lives in San Francisco, USA. Extracts of Glamour is her first solo exhibition at Galerie Claudine Papillon. In 2012, Fineisen exhibited Fluide Parfait in the Patio of Maison Rouge, Foundation Antoine-de-Galbert. Last year she participated at Transfer Korea – NRW, where her works were shown in several institutions in Germany (Bonn, Hagen and Düsseldorf) as well as in South-Corea (Seoul).

Translation: Denyse Beaulieu