Visual idiom

by Nikita Singh, in: Times of India, May 24 2005


Chandigarh: An eclectic collection of thought, form, substance and expression. That speaks of freedom, but ironically, is tied down by cultural definition. Strangely, letting every aspect find distinctive meaning in the artist’s unique idiom. Not just Indian, but European as well. For German multidisciplinary artist Stephan Weitzel definitely thinks outside the box, integrating the two, in the fascinating composition at his exhibition at the Alliance Française, Sector 36.

An artist whose flighty thought-process shifts from sculptures to installations, paintings to photographs and even finds description in videos, is creative, even aesthetic, in presenting itself to viewers. Like fragrant potpourri, installations like Draghood (a drag queen’s closet with strong overtures to looking the part but when opened looks more like a child learning to find himself); and Come and See me at 5:30 (representation of a bench at the Cork Cathedral that imperiously tells visitors ’ Kneel to Pray’ as opposed to the artist’s ’ Stand to Think’) are intriguing in their display. As well as the outlook they project.

Paintings like 25 par Seconde (a visual description of images, 24 in number, that the human eye can perceive in a second); Chimera (a black and white  collection of 12 linocuts); and Mère et Enfant (the face of an almost anti-mother who is just good-enough and very human); as well as the one that combines the Indian swastika with the Ireland Celtic cross (a remarkable assimilation of two different cultural identities) are simplistically stunning in their expression.

For an artist whose major concern has been to trace the physical outcome of a mental state that historical processes have generated, Weitzel seems to succed in his endeavour.

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