Nils Hofheinz, opening speech:
“(…) In ”Viva na Cidade (Paraiso, SP)” Sabine Geierhos returns all the secondary aspects of meaning to the surface of the work and unifies them into a picture which does not want to be remembered so much as experienced in its rawness. This – her – pictorial world does not engage with the bad conscience of the viewer nor with intellectual meta-horizons but opens up an immediate visual and emotional interaction. The fusion of abstract and concrete elements, the blunt combination of various techniques and materials create pictorial worlds which perhaps more than anything exist in our memory, and which no photo could possibly reproduce. This is because Geierhos refuses to emphasize accurate reproduction of the situation’s fleeting impression. She does not give up the use of machinery either: photographic depiction – perhaps precisely because of the photo’s meaning as mnemonic aid – forms the basis of Sabine Geierhos’ compositions. These pictures are often taken months before she begins the process of creating a work. The representative value of the work, however, seems to be first and foremost about remembering the overall impression of the situation in its context – the whole journey in the context of her entire life – as opposed to reconstructing some fictional ideal which might be called a mere impression. Sabine Geierhos lives her pictures because she does not trust the imprint of a single moment or impression. She renders a skepticism in her choice of motif: we never find an undisturbed and idyllic “nature” in her urban pictorial world. Technology, architecture or bitter misery flash through the pictures, as here fine lines run between powerful expanses of color. The artist spends weeks meditating on her pictures—reaching in, destroying, healing. The canvas reflects a discourse that continues until the picture contains all the important aspects and the unnecessary or undesirable elements have been removed. Awareness of the picture, of an expression, develop slowly at first in the same way that we, so to speak, open up, analyze and decode the unconscious, static, dead photo in the process of being painted. Horizons of meaning which are not present in the picture’s core motif unfold across the canvas and don’t simply expand but also comment upon the central motif’s images. This “recontextualization” is present in all of her works: banal objects of reality transcend themselves and become spaces of emotional experience.
(…) Sabine Geierhos’ pictures are a clear statement against the ambiguous metaphors of our present media’s flood of images, and they are a statement for clarity, for awareness, for conscious perception—and yet they do not merely involve unaided perception, but rather lagging, remembered perception.
So let yourselves be impressed throughout the course of this evening, experience the pictures on exhibition with a little snack and a glass of champagne. But take time – take time to see.”