Sichtung rot (searching red) – chamber pieces
In his “Poetics of Space” (1957), Gaston Bachelard writes: “The house is our first universe. Our memories of the exterior world will never have the same tonality as the recollections we have of our house.”
Our need for shelter, peace and warmth binds us to no other place as much as to our private space. On the pages of Brigitte Waldach’s “sichtung rot – kammerspiele” (searching red – chamber pieces”) series this value is emphasized, or at least questioned. The room that should provide protection appears here to pose a threat to the figure.
Brigitte Waldach uses the room as the basis for her figurative, open-ended situations. She does not construct stories or a narrative chain of events, but rather creates minimalist constellations that are often limited to the presence of a single figure. Her works are concentrated human behavioral patterns. Split into different parts of it’s personality, the figure may appear multiple times in the image, it can communicate with itself, or turn away from itself. The room in which the artist situates her figures serves as a sounding board of inner sensibilities, or as a sparse stage for potential actions, which can lead in different directions in the thoughts of the observer.
By limiting herself to the colors red and white – that is, light and shadow – Waldach reduces reality to a level of abstraction that evokes comic book drawings or digitally estranged images. Sharp lines define the corners of the room; wallpaper is glued down to mark walls or ceilings. That the images – despite their still and introverted atmosphere – radiate a significant amount of tension results from Waldach’s masterfully arranged meeting of figure and space.
In retrospect it seems hardly a coincidence that Brigitte Waldach has cited the master of Absurd Theater Samuel Beckett as one of her current influences. She pushes her works into realms in which reality transforms itself into imagination.
Nils Ohlsen, Kunsthalle in Emden