Arne Schreiber is crucially refining his leitmotif at his fourth solo exhibition at Galerie koal. For more than ten years now, his works stem from the practice of putting countless parallel lines on seemingly even surfaces. Now, a new motif in oil on canvas is being shown as well as a large-sized mural, drawn on site with markers. The middle of the room is occupied by trunk-halves of a maple tree, its organic forms corresponding much more with the precision of the lines, rather than thwarting them.
Every line Schreiber draws involves something unexpected: an error on the canvas, a groove on the whitewashed plaster, a twitching of a muscle, an unintended deflection of the tools reshapes it and leaves marks behind on it. Every new parallel line adapts the shape of the line drawn before, adapts its randomness and might even add new ones. This is how a minimum of differences emerge, which Schreiber allows, even supports.
Through the directly applied mural, the artist is conducting a type of “room archeology” and reveals traces of past usage. However, he does not take the lines from the molded shapes of the soil, but takes, for the first time, something from what has grown – and does so double. The outlines of a branch resonate in it, a branch Schreiber had sawn off the exhibited tree-trunk; also, the repetition of the lines of the wall match the repeated sawing-movement.
The exhibition of the tree, its handling determined by the mural, does not only bring to light the usually invisible tools of the artist. It also underlines that in Schreiber’s conducting practice something unpredictable, natural has taken the place of what used to be the industrially produced precision of graph paper or the standardized flow of a ruler. First, Schreiber had to find the perfect longitudinal section in the trunk, had to wrest it from the wood.
By making the concealed patterns visible, Schreiber’s art appears to be a scanning microscope that probes into the optical depths and makes mathematical depths flicker between lines. In doing so, just like a precision instrument, it adheres to the constitution of the material and the regularities of its inscribed program. Yet, it follows its own measuring results by constantly regenerating the ongoing production back to what has already been produced.
Schreiber himself follows the work’s dynamic, submits to the working process, a simultaneously physically grueling, as well as contemplative flow producing act. He crafts every single line in a continuous flow, without any tools, often hours after hours; the operating hand holding a pen or brush turns into the teammate of the artist; while the artist becomes a mapmaker sensing and highlighting the tiny contour lines of the working base. He becomes the seismograph that records the smallest deviations from the evenness, enhances and continues them. He also becomes a reprograph, one that does not reproduce, but monitors the principle of repetition keeping it flexible so that it, in spite of the change, remains consistent.
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