The exhibition title comes from the eponymous work „Ascension“. Filmed with a hand-held camera in the Giant Sequoia forest in the South of Cologne, a chance encounter with caterpillars climbing single strands of silk on their way to their nesting place in trees led to a series of short videos which have been pieced together. Single figures, pairs, triplets and larger groups are all concerned with verticality, one of Anderson’s favorite themes. For him we humans possess individual vertical columns connecting us to the earth’s center, the antipode and in two directions to spatial infinity. For the first time one of Anderson’s synthetic silk / video works, the compositions of which are based upon Ad Reinhardt’s so-called „Black Paintings“ but consisting not of seven painted areas but rather of seven sewn silk panels, also in three colors, contains a sound track - of ambient noices recorded in the forest. The second silk / video work pictures a young Japanese woman whose face has been cov¬ered with loosely hanging sheets of silver leaf secured by a layer of honey. Anderson has created an Asian, feminine and lunar variation on an image from Josesph Beuys’s first gallery exhibition with Alfred Schmela of Düsseldorf in 1965, „Explaining Pictures to a Dead Hare“, in which his face was covered with gold leaf. The mumbling voice of Beuys is replaced with a recitation in Japanese of a Basho Haiku: “The autumn moon is bright, Sea-waves whirl up to my gate, Crested silvery white.” The silver leaf is blown away by wind. This process and the speech component are then reversed in an endless loop of addition and subtraction. The third element in the exhibition is the first Cologne display of Anderson’s „No Smoking Gun“ photo series. Made some months after the destruction of his home and studio by fire in 2016, there are five spatial concepts to the series. Too exhaustive to be described here, the American scholar of German Literature and Art History Brigid Doherty has written a sensi¬tive text in the eponymous book published by the Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König.
The fourth element is a tiny porcelain version of Anderson’s sole self-portrait, „Danse Bipolaire“. Melding a topographical model of Denali, North America’s highest mountain, with the silhouette of a shark, it describes geographical highs and lows as a visual model of psychic states.