03.02.2022 – 08.05.2022
Museum der bildenden Künste, Leipzig
Harry Hachmeister has staged his exhibition Von Disko zu Disko like a snapshot of an ongoing rebuilding process, frozen in the solemn calm of the museum. Besides the transience of the moment – common to building sites and conversion work at a museum alike – Hachmeister’s space is informed by a further notion: a certain sense of possibilities, of transformation and reinvention. Hachmeister plays with the shifts in meaning of everyday objects once they are brought into the context of an exhibition; he does so by integrating elements that are associated with construction work and staging his works in a playful manner. The subjects on his canvases, his reverse glass paintings, and also his ceramic objects, which are scattered throughout the exhibition, point to states of no more and not quite yet. Processes of change, provisory and intermediate states are the starting points for Hachmeister’s artistic exploration of (gender) identities, bodies and their categorisations.
Harry Hachmeister’s ceramics have settled in small groups throughout the exhibition space. The dumbbells and weights borrowed from a cold, serious physical fitness context here appear to us in a variety of amusing shapes, often even somewhat exhausted or hunched over, all the while always very colourful, at times glittering and seemingly always in an upbeat mood. Next to them, several cats idle about the exhibition unfazed. On first glance, they appear three-dimensional; and yet these quiet observers represent a nod to the stage set appeal of the whole scenery.
As if someone had pushed the pause button, even the volcanoes in the paintings are quietly frozen in the moment of their most violent eruption.
Almost reverently, a space built inside the exhibition envelopes a series of reverse glass paintings like a protective coat. A medium originally used in the practice of religious folk art, is used by the artist to copy his own work. Images from older drawings, subjects that in some cases have appeared in his work for many years, are reinterpreted and recontextualised by Hachmeister. In the process he reveals his great skill in using the ethereal, abstract luminosity of the acrylics on glass. The seeming moment of pause throughout the entire installation invites viewers to spend some time. Feel free to take a seat on the bench for a while, but do take heed not to scare the cat underneath.
Artist book harry in conjunction with the exhibition, designed by Anna Lena von Helldorff, Spector Books, Leipzig 2022.
Exhibition views: Sophia Kesting / VG Bild-Kuns Bonn, 2021 and PUNCTUM / Stefan Hoyer