DER PERSEIDENSCHAUER | AGNES SCHERER
On a large wooden laptop we see, painted on the screen, two angels wedged in contortionist positions while playing with a ball of dust that they keep on a leash. Behind this surreal scene, between the surprised and the petrified, a couple just got out of the car observes them as comets fall over their heads and a folder appears between one celestial body and the other, which places Unlikely Treasures. Perhaps the operating system is overloaded and the computer is starting to send visual messages that can express the technical problem.
This representation between myth and cinema animates the work Der Perseidenschauer, an installation and painting by the artist Agnes Scherer. The meteor shower of the Perseids invades the skies every year in the summer period, this phenomenon become the metaphor through which the artists creates a mix with historical layers: moving between past and the present Scherer showcases a layering of information that leads to the creation of a narrative installation that does not end within the megalithic computer screensever but that also continues on the keyboard in which encrypted codes are shown instead of the normal keys. Scherer creates a further interpretation plan, a new bug within the reading system. With great ability the artist manages to insert the revival of myth and contemporary culture in his monumental sculpture, underlining its fragility: what are the new myths? What stories of angels and paradoxical atmospheric phenomena could we tell? Scherer shows a new way of narrate the myths of today by adhering to contemporary language and indeed using it as a pivot for direct identification.
Furthermore, the large dimensions of the work (in total the screen reaches a height of three meters) makes it a monolith, a new totem container of stories and experiences. Without fear Scherer makes it clear how the mythological narrative system has definitively moved to a new support but it does so while maintaining the magic and suspension that characterize the human history. The words, or perhaps it would be better to say the rebus, contained by the keyboard counterbalances the touch pad of the computer, now transformed into sea water: the paradigms and languages have changed but within this contemporary system of objects it is still possible to rediscover the ancestral, the archetype and the myth. Der Perseidenschauer, a monumental sculpture born of the digital age on a everyday object, speaks to us of the contemporary folklore: Scherer immerses herself in the matter of our present, accepts its canons and shapes them to create a temporal vortex in which the narrative systems of the past can still, after a “system update”, talking about man and the critical issues of the era.
Der Perseidenschauer, 2021
Wood sculpture, painting
Screen 214 x 330 cm; keyboard 214 x 330 cm
Installation view at The Notebook Simulation, Kunstverein für die Rheinlande und Westfalen, Düsseldorf, 2021, © Kunstverein Düsseldorf; Courtesy of the Artist and ChertLüdde, Berlin and Sans Titre (2016), Paris; Photo: Mareike Tocha