black-and-white photograph as wallpaper
Inv. No. 0301
Lutz Bacher learned a lot from Harry Houdini. For more than 40 years, she has been flitting through the art world, popping up here and there. She changed her name, doesn’t admit her age, and generally knows how to well conceal her methods.
At first glance, it stands to reason to interpret the works through the filter of art histor – after all, that is the technique that many art aficionados have learned to use to understand and decode the majority of art production. One attempts to understand her work as commentary, as a development or reference, to place it in the neighborhood of other artists in order to define the limits of her artistic domain, at least to some degree. And yet, there is often a type of trap-door. The feeling quickly sets in that one is on the wrong track. The artist’s statements are too simple, the reference too blurred and the work too intelligent. Similar to Houdini, Bacher is master of the ‘turn’, the world of magic’s term for the transformation of regular objects into a sensation.
The wallpaper work Snow Hands is just such a case. Though Lutz Bacher states that she simply found the photograph, a black and white image of three handprints in the snow, on the streets of Los Angeles, that she likes wallpaper and is interested in the ephemeral, one somehow can’t shake the feeling that this can only possibly be half of the truth. The art history references are too definite – like Picasso’s famous right handprint or the work Untitled (for Parkett) from Félix González-Torres, a black and white image of blurred footprints in the sand, produced as wallpaper in 1994. As comprehensive as Bacher’s material is, so much are her works divested of straightforward comprehension through a barrage of references. For understanding means possessing, and the best magicians never share.
Markus Schinwald, 2015 (translation: Virginia Dellenbaugh)
Wallpaper #1, evn sammlung, Maria Enzersdorf, 2018
Now, At The Latest. videos and other attractions from the evn collection, Kunsthalle Krems, Krems, 2015