Illectus eram 1, 2011, Indian ink on paper, 74x74 cm
Illectus eram 4, 2011, Indian ink on paper, 74x74 cm
The Strife of Love in a Dream 5, 2009, watercolor and Indian ink on paper, 66x99 cm
The Strife of Love in a Dream 7, 2009, watercolor and Indian ink on paper, 66x99 cm
The Strife of Love in a Dream, 2009, tempera and oil on canvas, 180x120 cm
As You Desire Me
"Sinful" seeing is a dimly lit place filled with veils and snatched glimpses. Desire lures our eye here, there and everywhere. Eager to be seduced, it wanders over the surfaces of the images. An adventure. We lose ourselves in a labyrinth of welling blossoms, arching and arcing leaves, entangling stipes and tendrils, in feelers and rhizomes; voluptuous, sensual, spellbinding.
An exquisite, powerful, meticulously assembled figurativeness though, bridles the whim to peripatetic (eroticized) fantasy. In accord with the laws of recurrent bifurcation, arabesques line up symmetrically, mirror one another, slip-slide "wrestle with themselves". Seemingly self-sufficient, they form coherent, emblematic designs that "orbit" on a white ground, in nothingness.
The artist as Magister Ludi, the Master of the Game, opens play even as the intertwined figurations' field of activity spills over the margins of the page. It is on the proximate page that the arabesque-clews establish connection. We seek and find the terminal points on the outer reaches of the page and in our minds proceed with the controlled game, rearranging the drawn pages without spoiling the game. We are involved, wholly in the spirit of the illimitable eastern arabesque with no beginning and no end.
It is in this perennial thought process of metamorphosis and regeneration of the living that Miron Schmückle would enlist us - the aspiration "to salvage this mouldering whole".
Text: Silke Radenhausen | English translation: Eric Gradman
The Strife of Love in a Dream, 2009, watercolor and Indian ink on paper, 252x176 cm
De naturae corporis fabrica, ANr. 0108, 2008, Indian ink on paper, 96x66 cm
De naturae corporis fabrica, ANr. 0208, 2008, Indian ink on paper, 96x66 cm
De naturae corporis fabrica, ANr. 0308, 2008, Indian ink on paper, 96x66 cm
“Rococo revisited”. Installation views at RENA BRENSTEN GALLERY, San Francisco 2007
De naturae corporis fabrica, diptych, 2006, fat coal and Indian ink on paper, each 150x100 cm
Untitled, 2006, oil on canvas, 100x150 cm
Untitled, 2004, oil on canvas, 100x150 cm
"Other flowers, it is true, present very well-developed and undeniably elegant stamens, but appealing again to common sense, it becomes clear on close examination that this elegance is rather satanic: thus certain kinds of fat orchids, plants so shady that one is tempted to attribute to them the most troubling of human perversions.
But even more than by the filth of its organs, the flower is betrayed by the fragility of its corolla: thus, far from answering the demands of human ideas, it is the sign of their failure. In fact after a very short period of glory the marvelous corolla rots indecently in the sun, thus becoming, for the plant, a garish withering. Risen from the stench of the manure pile-even though it seemed for a moment to have escaped it in a flight of angelic and lyrical purity - the flower seems to relapse abruptly into its original squalor: the most ideal is rapidly reduced to a wisp of aerial manure. For flowers do not age honestly like leaves, which lose nothing of their beauty even after they have died; flowers wither like old and overly made-up dowagers, and they die ridiculously on stems that seemed to carry them to the clouds.
It is impossible to exaggerate the tragicomic oppositions indicated in the course of this death drama, endlessly played out between earth and sky, and it is evident that one can only paraphrase this laughable duel by introducing, not as a sentence, but more precisely as an ink stain, this nauseating banality: love smells like death. It seems, in fact, that desire has nothing to do with ideal beauty, or, more precisely, that it only arises in order to stain and wither the beauty that for many sad and well-ordered personalities is only a limit, a categorical imperative. The most admirable flower would not be represented, following the verbiage of the old poets, as the faded expression of an angelic ideal, but, on the contrary, as a filthy and glaring sacrilege..."
quoted from: Bataille, Georges. "The Language of Flowers."
In: The Visions of Excess: Selected Writings, 1927-1939. (Translated by Allan Stoekl with Carl R. Lovitt and Donald M. Leslie, Jr. University of Minnesota, 1985. The essay first appeared in the journal Documents in 1929. The first German translation appeared in Theorodor Lessing; Blumen, Berlin 2004.)
Hortus conclusus, series 32, 2003, color prints on alu-dibond, each 80x53 cm
Bucolic still lifes, 2002, color prints on alu-dibond, each 90x60 cm
Still life, 2002, color print on alu-dibond, 90x60 cm
Still lifes, 2002, color prints on alu-dibond, each 90x60 cm
The Enchanted Look
Concerning the new photographs by Miron Schmückle
"Things. By speaking this (do you hear?) silence results, a silence that surrounds the things. Every movement slows down, becomes contour, and past times and future times fuse to permanence: space, an immense pacification of things that push towards nothing... Perhaps the first images of deities resulted from this experience; attempts at forming something immortal, something enduring from humans and beasts, something further removed: the thing." (Rainer Maria Rilke: Auguste Rodin, part 2, 1903)
In the sarcophagus of photography, how vivid can the love for things be? - It is a glass sarcophagus that keeps awake the memory of the moment the photo was taken. In contrast, the things yearn for permanence and strive for annihilating time. The moment and permanence are deadly enemies. Here, at this place, lies the audacity and the inner contradiction of Miron Schmückle's still lifes. The technical medium celebrates the presence of the moment, whereas the recorded contents, the staged world of things, negates time. Whereas photography permits that the moment triumphs over the past and the future, still life challenges the primacy of the moment. Every movement has slowed down, "and past times and future times fuse to permanence". In fact, what is the present, after all? Is there any room left? What is the reason for having a third time called "present", when the future turns into the past instantaneously.
In his epoch-making book on cabinets of curiosities (also known as wunderkammer or wonder rooms), Julius von Schlosser (Vienna 1923) referred to gazza ladra, the thievish magpie that can be regarded as a symbol of a playful and subconscious urge for collecting things. In its most distinguished and refined form, this archetpical passion for bringing things together and conserving them, informs the cabinets of curiosities of the late Renaissance which became today's special-interest museums. The wonder lies in the daring collection and display of things that go beyond the abnormous and the curious. Time is glossed over beautifully. Time is visible in the transient, but annihilated by the future. However, the boundaries disintegrate. Thus, it isn't time that is present in the treasure chambers, but time overcome.
Still lifes can be considered as wunderkammer en miniature. Life has been assembled there, as well as death. Ripe fruit, blossoms of the lilies, piglets' feet, shells, glass vessels, sheep heads. We know them all too well: beautiful life and cold death. Everything is there to the fullest and well sorted, however it whispers of decrepitness and decay: memento mori. This is the metaphysics of a still life. A doom, a symbolic haze lies over the scene. Any moment, the opposite of the magnificence depicted may come true: an illusion from shells, pomegranate, knuckle of pork. The sweet charm of the scene is suspicious. What we see may mean the exact opposite of what we see. Awestruck we stand and shiver.
By arranging conventional still lifes in order to photograph them, Miron Schmueckle transports the "magic of things" to a higher level. Now and permanence are placed in a delicate equilibrium, which becomes a source for artistic antitheses in Schmückle's work. As photographs, luxuriant still lifes appear like test arrange-ments. They evoke memoires, but seem cold and distanced like scientific experiments. They offer an answer, a riposte: against time. They reinvent permanence in a thunderous present. The most unlikely stillness in the midst of encountering waves of the past and the future. The longing for permance and for slowing down in the midst of transience and doom. And the divine moment of shiver, the activation of the automatic shutter.
"What a thing? A beautiful thing? No. Who would have known what beauty is? Something like this. A thing that allows us to recognize what we loved, what we were afraid of, and the unfathomable in all of it." (R. M. Rilke, Rodin 1903)
Carl Friedrich Schröer, 2003 | English translation: Marcus Hammann