Unterhund is a neologism and free unification of two words, unter and hund that appears as the german equivalent to underdog – it is the title of an exhibition, that brings together three positions with paintings by Hell Gette and Amadeus Certa, and a video work by Julius Brauckmann.
An explicitly artificial spin-off in the art of the Baroque Age, is the so-called “Capriccio”. These paintings rarely show mere landscape areas, but much rather places for a free gathering of figures and objects. Typical for the Capriccio was the deliberate blurring of conventions of pictorial genres, which were otherwise hierarchically separated from each other. Artists thus playfully redefined rules and boundaries and consequently made bold use of freedoms, which in retrospect can be seen as the first foundation of anti-academic Modernism.
It is appealing to consider Hell Gette’s landscapes as Capricci of the 21st century. The contemporary aspect lies in the fact, that her works integrate the conflict between the analogue and the digital world playfully into the work process. This happens when the artist combines her findings on the internet and the connected digital tools – with the hand-drawn, the photographs taken with the mobile phone, the experimental prints or graphically designed, bringing it all back to the traditional oil painting, thus reflecting a highly contemporary concept of painting and treating all media equally. At the same time, Hell Gette’s paintings emphasize how strongly our experiences today are not only influenced by pictorial templates (of the arts, the movies, television, advertisement, social media, etc).
Moreover, they show that even our feelings can be expressed by patterns or icons, letting the body go through a subtle estrangement from an immediate perception, providing that such a perception, in its pure form has ever existed. However, Hell Gette articulates this in her paintings rather as an observation than criticism.
If Amadeus Certa is interested in reality at all, then therefore, how far the unreal, the dreamed, enigmatic mythologies are compatible with what we call reality. He deconstructs his popcultural objects and finds a form, that denies the shine of the surface and searches it in colors only: a painterly approach, that does not copy product aesthetics rather than dealing with genuine painterly questions. Certas pictures are paintings, but through the lines also drawing, luckily unfinished. A combination of logics and vagueness, that can only rest in dreams, and in art.
The work „Namedropping“ is a persiflage of the art market and it´s mechanisms. Julius Brauckmann reflects the current development in the art business, the parrot in the video enumerates the fifty most successfull artists according to ArtFacts. In the race around record prices, so called artists rankings shall help to give an orientation. Besides artists, that are recommended to invest in, these rankings reveal, that evermore the same artists dominate the art market and split among themselves the huge monetary and also institutional success. The name becomes a no-brainer, the artist turns into a brand. Alike the parrot in the video art market repeats itself and regurgiates.