"The Authoress"

Birgit Effinger


Press Release for the exhibition

Die Autorin/The authoress, September 9 – October 29, 2012


There where the call to celebrate May Day is emblazoned each year in large capitals in Berlin-Kreuzberg, was last year, fluttering above the street, ‘Parole’, an out-sized pamphlet with mysterious, indecipherable letters. After a short while the work was removed on account of its clearly disturbing illegibility. 

Friederike Feldmann’s current work consists of script pictures, which are now being shown as a complex set of paintings and drawings at Galerie Barbara Weiss. 

Feldmann has painted with her customary writing style to create constellations of script-like lines that have all the appearance of hand-written texts. In this way zestfully dashed-off lines are cast into successive and ever-different rows of zigzags and loops. But these quasi-words written in the conventional order do not join together to form a linear text that can be read and understood. 

The visual rhetoric of this painted lettering hovers between peinture and écriture and cannot be resolved either in the direction of language or in the direction of iconic qualities. The painted words and texts can at most be read as what they are: as camouflage for an authentic writing gesture that has developed an idiosyncratic yet purposefully aimed relationship between the forms of lines and surfaces. In this the individual style of a person’s handwriting presents a contingent means of design that unequivocally compacts and resolves the forms. 

These works are quite literally script pictures which in the first instance do not speak through what they represent but exemplify rather the expressive constitution of her own handwriting. It is this interplay between the script’s own field of allusions and its location in the field of the surface that stimulates our eye and throws us back time and again to the materiality of what has been painted. In this way, Friederike Feldmann’s written line formations articulate visual assertions in the field of painting.