Ottmar Hörl (Wertheim)

Image Disturbance

 

Ottmar Hörl, Professor and President of the Academy of Fine Arts in Nuremberg, is among the leading innovative conceptual artists in Germany. He is a master of the multiple and has an ability to uncover gaps in the history of art. He first gained international renown with his spectacular, large-scale projects in public space. Since the 1980s he has developed radical concepts for works that examine the notion and perception of art and the tensions that characterize the relationship between art and nature and art and society.

How does this work in a hotel suite? Upon entering the room, guest and art aficionados are perplexed when they confront the room's elegant Biedermeier atmosphere, which is paired with the works of Caspar David Friedrich, Henri Raeburn, Friedrich Overbeck, and others. What are these classical icons of art history doing in a modern art hotel, in a room conceived by Ottmar Hörl? Closer examination reveals that the images are reproductions of the paintings taken from art catalogues, which Hörl has altered through interventions. In other words, he has "reproduced" the works in their original dimensions.

Berlin is famous for its unique museum landscape, which is why many tourists come to the city. Nevertheless, in highly acclaimed exhibitions one still often sees visitors listening to the explanations of their audio guides without really looking at the work of art. Perhaps Hörl is also using a bit of tongue-in-cheek to pose the question as to how we really look at art in the twenty-first century, in the Internet age? Do you notice the difference between the original and the new interpretation? On Caspar David Friedrich's Kreidefelsen auf Rügen (Chalk Cliffs on Rügen) one triumphantly sees that the visitors to the site have disappeared, but what is different in The Reverend Robert Walker Skating on Duddingston Loch by Henri Raeburn?

Hörl's subversive disruption of the image is an invitation to a journey of discovery honing one's sense of perception. All in all, an inspiring experience that promises both to expand one's knowledge and to provide a place of rest and relaxation.