Eckhardt Momber, Poet

Eckhardt Momber, writer and author, also of “Chinamesser”,  a limited edition artists’ book with Tinka Bechert, published by Edition Mariannenpresse, Berlin, 2005.

 

 

RABIES CHECKED?

What’ going on?

What excites me so much and doesn’t let off as I m standing in front of the paintings of this exhibit? Ach, if only I was standing there! And didn’t just have this electronically shrunk version in front of my eyes.

Then I would touch the pictures. Would feel their colours and plains, illicitly so.

Eat them up, I would, these forbidden fruits.

       So I just look at them.

With my gut feeling and my heart pounds, pounds high above Venice. As I re-open my eyes, Gottfried Benn asks me: Do you mean Zurich, for example? A city  that has long lost its marvels? Tinka Bechert meant Venice. She could also be looking down over Rome. And not perish from it. She’ d rather throw a city onto paper with a ballpen, conjures up a bunch of flowers of her city. Free-hand, „aus der Lamäng” as Berliners used to say. Flowers for the Architect! This architect gets me going!  My eyes are following her hand and the charcoal on the paper. To here and no further! Stop! 250 meters , back and forth, exiting the dark roundabout. It doesn’t get more sobering than this. But why, I ask myself, is her heart beating for this crumbling old building. If she stood next to me, I d ask her. Her compassion seems to know no bounds. She doens’t even stop at this old ruin of a place. But it can’t go on like that! Where are we to turn? Up the wall? Up these palm trees? Nature! Exactly! There is something to be said for that. She leads us on a fenced path into this pretty landscape, rolling hills, mountain lake in the distance. And Nothing. Again. Sold! Even Texaco is about to sell out, a last car just tanked up, in vanishing, glaring light. Imminent thunderstorms still lighting up the sky, flying fiery shreds, fly-gold, multi-storeyed ruins at dusk, heralds of coming storms.

        Admittedly!

        Looked at very subjectively! Who can see differently? Objective art appreciation is another sort of lampshade. Whoever wants to see beyond, has to get close. Has step inside the Paintings and get closer to the melancholic daughters of Paul Gaugains women. Has to hold a hand in front of one eye to recognise them better. Them, the daughters of the big city. Berlin isn’t Berlin anymore, only a dark cloud. Berlin is a red cat! Is a fleeing animal, paradise lost! Lets see what the stag has to say about this. With the antannae on his head, with his once oh so magnificient antlers, dangerously poking into urbanism and globalised communications. Whats going on? What the hell are you looking at me like that for? As if he had some sort of message for me. If I was Orpheus, then I could talk to him. Only I m not. Am not ripped apart by rememberance but still alive with too much myth and romantic notions in my head.

        Enough of that, says the last painting. And walks me into a nocturnal, oily, muddy field, on its edges two men with sledge hammers. If only their heads werent bowed, I would just ask them, hands cupped around my mouth like a loudspeaker: What are the two of you at? No roads or paving stones left to rip up! You, abandoned by god and the brave new world.

       Backwards.

Back to my stag, I stand in front of him, In the centre of his gaze, i drag up the lower frame of the picture just a touch and now he stands up to his belly in a pale bathroom-blue. There, I leave him standing for now and walk out, his eyes still piercing my back. I walk out into the streets, only ask one more question.

What about rabies ?

        Me?

        Why Me?

        An formerly unheard voice from afar:

        YOU LOT!

 

 

 



Dr. Ulrike Oppelt

Art Historian and Curator


Artists nowadays live in highly complex cultural situations that offer simultaneous existences in so-called parallel worlds. Tinka Bechert, was born in Berlin in 1975 and also lives and works in Ireland since 1998.This corresponds with the characteristics of the younger, globalised generation of artists that often supply at least two countries of residence in their bios.

Passionately, she continuously seeks out new challenges that allow her to realize diverse projects in many different countries, while her family heritage and cultural references are deeply rooted in Berlin's rich history. The focus of her artistic questioning is concerned with orientation and history as a 'lived experience' that continually informs the present.

History is made, written and recorded in pictures, documents and texts. This process is made visible through the ordering and narrative that is consolidated by viewpoints and cultural circumstances. History repeatedly depends on interpretation and the uncovering of its own criteria. Kant understood the chronology of past, present, and future as persistence, succession and simultaneity, which could only be imagined as an 'infinite, continual line'. The French philosopher Henri Bergson (1859-1941) stated 'that Kant's mistake was to understand time as a homogenous medium and that he overlooked that time is made up of individual moments.'(1) To this, Albert Einstein remarked, that 'for us physicists, the distinction between past, present and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion'(2). For Tinka Bechert, the latter statement aptly expresses her concerns.

She is continually experimenting, searching and re-searching. Her diverse works show a fearlessness and risk-taking that accepts the necessity or possibility of failure and defeat in order to find new expression. Tinka Bechert engages in, at times, highly complex research but this seriousness is constantly undermined by her sense of humor and absurd titles. This creates a playfulness which could be associated with the Berlin Dada artist Hannah Häch or even Kurt Schwitters, whose styles are referenced in methods and media. This graphic appropriation of everyday debris as well as the historic references also points to Sigmar Polke, who she attributes with being a very important influence.

Typical of her work is mix of different materials, which emerge from the surface through layering, collage and assemblage. She describes this collage-technique, even when it really is painting, as a balancing act of pictoral elements and styles. The phenomenon of combined visual language opens a wide spectrum of possibilities. Fragments of imagery ranging from Greek mythology to Dürer are linked together. This shows a desire to recultivate the handling of materials, which are in danger of being forgotten or cast aside in contemporary art. This preference for materials that represent or literally 're-member' a specific time reactivates many associations. The sources for these associations range from ancient egyptian chronologies to 19th century portraiture to a remembering of the 'sublime' in romantic landscape paintings to conceptual installation works.

Bechert's works are always conceptual, repeatedly representational/figurative and on close inspection, they offer narratives, anecdotes and biographical content. Floating words, for example, show that Tinka Bechert's attempts to grasp the existence or essence of a subject, do not only show a deep understanding of the materials she uses, but also employ a philosophical and epistemological analysis. She confronts her painterly perception with other frames of reference, especially the codifications of scientific systems. She expands her investigation into representation and phenomena through three-dimensional analogies alongside her collage or painted subjects. Tiny images, arrows, triangles, chairs hang or float in front, next to or above the canvas and thus create spatial turbulences. Texts and words with symbolic meanings or ironic statements complement the installations.

Sculptural categories like balance, stability and instability are the current subjects in her Drawings. The installations and their expansion of 'drawing into space' represent a striking artistic position which challenges the traditional relationship between image and viewer by questioning the 'taking for granted' of the experience of space and time.


Dr. Ulrike Oppelt, 2011

1.Henri Bergson: Zeit und Freiheit, Hamburg 1994, page 171. 2.Albert Einstein, cited from Armin Herrmann: Einstein- Der Weltweise und sein Jahrhundert, Munich, 1994, page 545.

 

Karlheinz Pichler, Author, Critic and Curator
Explorations


Tinka Bechert is not concerned with changing the world. She doesn’t offer simple formulas to explain the world. She does, however point to discrepancies, deficits and imbalances through the complex paintings, drawings and her installed presentations of them. Apart from that, she is looking for connecting lines, correspondences and balancing. She questions history, the contemporary, science, economy and the globalised world as such.
The artist partners art with scientific disciplines such as geography, biology and art history as well as popular culture. She grapples with the content and role of archives and inserts sequences of information into her creative output.

Bechert is continually crossing frontiers, always in search of intersections and points of orientation.On the basis of in-depth research, a subtle and at times ironic vision emerges.


Retracing New World Explorations. In the context of the Banff-Residency, Tinka Bechert aimed to track the historic European explorations of the New World.

The local Whyte Museum archives and its historic documents, cartographies and sea-faring charts inspired her large-scale drawings during this artistic expedition.
When artists turn their attention to map-making, we often see an abstract analogy that adds, subtracts and invents new parameters of measurements.

A part of the scientific truth is sacrificed in order to highlight the subjective and the fictitious.Tinka Bechert also re-invents the points of orientation in artistic cartographies, which could also be interpreted as a mapping of the self. Or as an artistic expression that is manifested by questioning, exploring, investigating, searching and researching.


The process of mapping can also be seen as a metaphor of orientation in an increasingly disorientated world.Maps and charts are not an impression or drawn sketches of the world but its interpretation and projected meaning. To bend down physically and to inspect a map is always a process of constructed narrative as brief and inconsequential as it may be. Maps continually tell stories, that multiply the projected journeys.

Tinka Bechert’s utilization of charts and maps indicates multiple layers of meaning. They become fragments, grids, carrier, support, line-drawing and stratums and substratums of readability and seeing. They create a folded, fragmented and syncopal perception that will not be pin-pointed to any one meaning but allow for multitudes of points of references.1

As a result of her research and personal investigation, Bechert charts and measures the Rocky Mountains in her explorations on paper and canvas. The large-scale oil paintings supplement the series with remembered landscapes in which the interference of modern tourism and commercial management of National Parks is equally present and represented as is archaic nature itself.




1. see Marie Ange-Brayer, Landkarten als Maß Bildlicher Fiktion in der Kunst des 20. Jahrhunderts, Kunstforum Bd. 137, 1997.

Dr. Ingelore Hafemann,

Head of Department, „Dictionary Of Ancient Egyptian“,

Berlin-Brandenburgischen Akademy Of Science and Humanities.

Excerpt from speech in context of booklaunch of at Neues Museum Berlin

2012 (Karl Richard Lepsius: der Begründer der deutschen Ägyptologie, herausgegeben von Verena M. Lepper und Ingelore Hafemann. )

 

Tinka Bechert is the great-great-granddaughter of Richard Lepsius. Her installation picks up her ancestors’ thread and interest of chronological ordering and interconnectedness of historic events. Her red “magic string” (red rope) bound together the five open storeys of the rotund architectural feature in the academy. A visualisation of time and space was created, in which thousands of years of history were portrayed through exchanges, connections and chance encounters between personalities and events. A somewhat randomyet fascinating physical structure emerged which impressed the staff of the  academy not only through its visual impact.

 

In her exhibition at the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Science and Humanities Bechert also presented a metronome. Through simply marking its amplitude with the words “past, present, future”, she only slightly altered this metronome to turn it into a “time-keeper”.

And so the swing of pendulum continually oscillates between them.

It is a visualisation of time. But not the common, linear experience of time. It is a  very interesting and powerful image, which provokes thoughts about our perception of time and space. Which also was so different in Ancient Egypt, where time was not at all linear but thought of more as cyclical or even circular. But there was many aspects to time, many names for example, for time and eternity, there is a beginning and an end of time, there is godly time that goes forwards as well as backwards leading back to reincarnation even. And there most definetely is a spatial aspect to time here as well....”

 

Björn Kuhligk, Poet

It doesn’t break

a studio visit with Tinka Bechert

 

Okay, she says, I had a go at MALERSCHWEIN, Kippnberger and stuff, and points to three paintings that hang above eyelevel. We re sittimg in her studio in a quite street in Friedenau in the Southwest of Berlin. She, perched on an arm-chair- like thing, me on a folding chair, between us a table on which her artists’ books and cataloques lie. Beneath them a cup of tea, a closeable ahstray, Einladungn, Pencils. In one corner the rolled up canvasses pile up. Show me, I say. No , not yet, too full-on, she says. She had announced an  1980s Series on which she is currently working. I understand, maybe its like taking off your clothes in front of somebody, with whom one wants to go swimming even though there are no swimsuits. We sit and talk a while. Then she shows me smaller, already framed works which she lines up against the wall. If I d  be able to get some distance, if I stood further away, maybe i would see the bigger picture.  I dont want the bigger picture, I want the detail. the big small moments, seconds,, fragments from which a whole world becomes visible.  My eyes want to see that, sure. We sit down again and talk. Are you ready, she asks after some time. Always, I stupidly reply.

She takes the largest roll of canvasses out of that corner, drops it on th floor and pulls out a painting. While she is dragging the canvas across the floor i  anxiously ask, Hey, doesnt it break like this? She smiles, staple gun in hand  and shoots staples into the wall. There is always a thumbs width of play, room to manouver, she says and keeps stapling the painting to the wall. The paint, I say, is dried thouogh, is it not? Yes, she says and keeps staples coming. Om my God, I shout, thats is going to break! She smiles. But no, it doesnt break. She says, I d need somebody like Giacomettis brother , he came and rescued his work while Giacommeti was hanging at a bar/ sitting in a pub.

God damn, she is in no pub and she aint a Giacometti. She is Tinka Bechert and her thumbs are speckled with dark paint. And then these canvasses are stapled to a Friedenau Wall and I am completely overwhelmed, withdraw into myself, then take the chair and move it further back and sit down, further  away from those paintings. A beer would be nice now, she says, but there is no beer.

Absent-mindedly I nod, I heard her but I dont care. On the left, a neglected looking child, on the right a dog that seems to run past the child, something very familar about this, the paintings draws me in and it scares me.

My eyes wander to the next painting on the right. I played basketball as a child- why doesnt this player have a head and why should footballers have a head anyways and why does Steven Spielbergs ET fly inside his head-like thing- god damn I dont understand it and why should I understand anything. The circus tent is there, no only its dome, held by pure black, which is grounding the whole painting and simultanously unites it on a terrible ground, as if all clowns and lions and performers were swallowed by this darkness, the entire conversation is black, of course, yes this is how it should be. It becomes clear to me

that there is  no apparent meaning in the paintings of Tinka Bechert, and why should there, if one was after the obvious, one could stare at ones hands or look at ones’ breakfast. There is no messages in Tinka Bechert’s works, nothing simple and obvious. There is a challenging and assuring disturbance. They are paintiuings that we have to face up to, trhat question us, that askthemselves as to why why am I hanging here. I might as well be eating Doner Kebap, i could hang out at a Doner shop and would be as happy as I am here.

We are hanging here becuase we belong together, maybe that is as weird as a the cohesion of a family. All that, we dont know, Tinka Bechert’s paintings are shutting up/ keepimg quiet., thank god. We are the ones who have to talk with them, who have to communicate with them when we see them.

 No there really is no beer , that is the only known fact at this moment. I am taking the red wine from the bag. And then we sit and we fall quiet/ sit in silence

and I photograph the paitnings with my eyes. And we sit and sit and we dont talk, why should we, we were swimming.

Dr. Anne Mueller von der Haegen,

Art-Historian, Curator

Explorations, Galerie 21, Braunschweig 2009

 

Tinka Becherts’ artistic enquiry focuses aroud the idea of orientation, belonging and place: ‘How and Where’ do we place ourselves in history, in geographical territories and in this world? These are very contemporary questions in a  globalised world that seems more familiar yet more strange at the same time. For Tinka Bechert, who has made her home in a foreign country very early on in her life, this is also a prsonal question, the search for ones’ inner compass.

 

She poses these questions by employing painterly, graphic and collage- like techniques. Within the current wealth of artistic production, Tinka Becherts’ work stands out in its individuality.

The artist manages to create works, that can be termed geographies of memory, intuitive maps, which encourage the viewer to “sail into the ocean of memories”, and to “find themselves” and to place their own journey of discovery and memory within this artists’ work.

 

Dorothee Bauerle-Willert

Author, Art-Historian, Art-Critic

 

"now and then"

creates a temporal relationship, an interstice between yesterday, today and then. Tinka Becherts series” Now and then” links Painting and Drawing with fragments of imagery ranging from historic prints, to greek mythology to Dürer. This assemblage of pictorial sources and gestural painting, spans times and spaces,

unites elements of varying cultures and media with new perspectives and viewpoints and recharges the historic materials with the contemporary.

Within the alternating commentary of the appropriated fragments

and her own painterly mark-making there naturally occurs the investigation of the artwork in the age of mechanical reproduction.

The print-media that Tinka Bechert inserts belong to the early automobile image-carriers, which first made image-formulas meander by travelling between cultures, countries and eras.

 

In contrast to the gone-by methods of mobility and mobilization

of imagery, the exchange, the increasing globalisation and the fast-as-lightning transfer of ideas, news, texts and images are now an integral part of culture and its perpetual reformulation.

Within Tinka Bechert’s series Now and then, the found repertory of imagery simultaneously becomes a historic and dynamic element of painting. Each Drawing is a process of integration and disintegration of the time-honoured and the new.

 

The Openess of the Paintings, the airy, glimmering spaces, in which the characteristics of printmaking are inserted into, transforms their appearance: Released from their historical corset

they transform themselves into figurations of becoming, of metamorphosis. A third space emerges, in which the  opposing elements of  of print-making and painting, colour and line, readabilty and abstraction, find a new balance.

Tinka Bechert’s examination of  previous Image-models refers to

this ambulation through time and space, to the remembered, the associated, the de- and revised and the found imagery.

 

The transgression of limits or frontier crossing always also questions the points of contact, the establishment of dialoques and encounters, the energy and the suspenspended tension that inhabits these processes. Painting and Drawing are activities in the

 

in between, each never static in its medium but a presence of interleaving, that never ends. Painting here responds to the unfathomable processuality of Seeing.

 

Tinka Becherts interwoven Imagery points to the complex potential  of remodelling arthistorical sources that then allow for reflection and clarification of the relationships between the individual and the larger system of art. Her Old masters aren’t untouchable icons that represent unshakeable truths, they are abbreviations of image narratives which she light-heartedly and ironically experiments with. For her, they are different vocabularies to describe, circumscribe and interpret freely. Atlas isn’t carrying the world anymore, he carries Nothing. The written word Nothing again points to the complex Relationship between word and image, between readability and what lies beyond.

 

In the Drawing Go faster girl, a little girl gets drawn by a large stripe glowing of paint, across bounds and limits. Go further could also be a subtitle for this series - as a transcending of the established imagery and a layering of experience.  Condensed knowledge becomes a symbol from the depth of the past and flows through the imagery into the present. The figures of the past shoot through and open the picture plane. And this usage of archives implies action and the request “I mean that force of growing in a different way out of oneself, of reshaping and incorporating the past and the foreign, of healing wounds, compensating for what has been lost, rebuilding shattered forms out of one‘s self”[1]

Art unfolds and sworks with these matters, often as sketch or preliminary experiment, as play with the material of history. Tinka Bechert stages past imagery anew, reanimates cast-off depictions through her active translations, between transference and crossing over. Painting is contact and encounter. Her subversive appropriations cast an entirely new light on the sources, even daring them towards their own inversion, are also cunning commentaries about the mythical burden of originality and authenticity.

 

Perhaps each source also contains the capability to grow rampant,

the source spouting and overflowing with weight and pressures  of the burdensome past. In a playful conversation that Tinka Bechert

initiates, there also is the invitation to see oneself in the other, to recognize and try out the other through oneself, to see the familiar

as strange and to recognize the strange as familiar.  

 

Through her communication with art history, Tinka Bechert transforms the canvas into a playing field. Taking her turns of ping pong of media and possibilities are reflective of  the transformation of the images. Their becoming is made of continuities and discontinuities. The open and susceptible, pulsating painting

generates through its creative disquiet and perpetual motion

in the infinite script of time and world.



[1] [1] Friedrich Nietzsche, Vom Nutzen und Nachteil der Historie für das Leben,  a.a.O., S. 104,




Hannes Schwenger


Laudatio für Tinka Bechert

KUNSTHALLE BRENNABOR

Brandenburg, 15.03.2013


Liebe Gäste, lieber Veranstalter, liebe Tinka Bechert,

 

als mich Tinka Bechert vor Wochen um ein paar einführende Worte zu ihrer Ausstellung bat, konnte ich schlecht Nein sagen, obwohl ich mir im sogenannten Ruhestand nach über 20 Jahren als Geschäftsführer des Berufsverbands Bildender Künstler Begräbnis-, Preis- und Eröffnungsreden für Kollegen inzwischen ersparen darf. Der Veranstalter hat sich, obwohl hier kein Preis verliehen wird, eine Laudatio auf die Künstlerin ausgebeten, und natürlich habe ich keine Skrupel, eine Künstlerin zu loben, deren erstes Buch mit  ich in der Edition Mariannenpresse 2005 veröffentlicht habe. Aber erwarten Sie von mir, der ich kein Kunstkritiker und kein Kunsthistoriker bin, bitte keine ästhetische Wertung und werkimmanente Interpretation unserer Ausstellung, die Ihnen selbst überlassen bleibt. Ich möchte es bei der Mitteilung einiger Erfahrungen belassen, die ich als Begleiter von Kunst und Künstlern über Jahrzehnte im geteilten und wieder vereinten Deutschland gemacht habe und auf die ich ein hoffnungsvolles Echo aus Tinka Becherts eigener Reflexion über ihr Werk zu vernehmen glaube, wenn sie über das Verhältnis von Idee und Material reflektiert und dabei zu Schlußfolgerungen gelangt, die über die traditionelle Malerei hinausweisen.

 

In ihrem eigenen Katalogbeitrag bekennt sie ihr Ungenügen, lange genug "gemalt, nur gemalt" zu haben, ohne ihre Ideen erschöpfen zu können. Deren treibende Kraft habe sie endlich inspiriert - ich zitiere - "mein künstlerisch-geschichtliches Interesse auch in anderen Medien und Methoden zu bearbeiten", ohne die eigenständige Poesie der Malerei preiszugeben. Denn obwohl für sie die Idee übergeordnet, das Material untergeordnet bleibt, weiß sie: "Auch das Material hat jedoch seine eigenen Regeln, seine eigene Kraft und seine eigenen Ideen. So wie man mit Video auf eine andere Art Gedanken zitieren kann als mit Leinen oder Pappkarton."

 

Ich finde in diesen Sätzen einen emanzipatorischen Ansatz formuliert, den im Kalten Krieg der Künste zementierten Gegensatz vom vermeintlich meisterlichen Handwerk der Realisten und der - im braunen und roten Deutschland gleichermaßen geschmähten - konkreten, abstrakten und surrealistischen Kunst zu überwinden; oder umgekehrt: den Gegensatz von vermeintlich freier und politisch-ideologisch dienstbarer Kunst, vulgo sozialistischem Realismus. Mir scheppern noch zwanzig Jahre nach dem Untergang der realsozialistischen Kunstdoktrin die Ohren vom Waffengeklirr zwischen "Abstrakten" und Realisten in Ost und West. Was für Kämpfe galt es in Hängekommissionen, Jurys und Aufnahmekommissionen von Künstlerverbänden zu bestehen, um die jeweils andere Fraktion zu hindern, Vertreter der anderen Richtung als "Nichtskönner" oder "Essig-und-Ölmaler" abzuqualifizieren oder die Nominierung für Wettbewerbe und Kunst am Bau zu verweigern. Und wie kompliziert die Fronten manchmal verliefen! Da gab es trotz aller Gegensätze manchmal gemeinsame Fronten - etwa gegen die Fotografie als Kunst -, oder ein aus der DDR übersiedelten Realist fand sich von seinen westdeutschen Kollegen abgelehnt: vom "abstrakten" Lager als Realist, von politisch engagierten Realisten, weil er den Realismus kritisch auf die DDR angewandt hatte. Auch den umgekehrten Weg gab es: daß man kritischen Realisten gut zureden mußte, parteilich engagierte Kollegen nicht auszugrenzen,als ihnen im Lehrfach Berufsverbot drohte. Wer dafür eintrat, einander trotz Meinungsstreit im gemeinsamen Künstlerberuf gelten zu lassen, konnte ganz schön zwischen die Fronten geraten.

 

Die sind, Gott sei Dank, mit den Jahren und mit der Berliner Mauer ins Wanken geraten. Noch in den fünfziger und sechziger Jahren war es Altmeistern des Realismus wie Schad und Hubbuch im Westen nur möglich, bei kryptokommunistischen Blättchen und Institutionen ein Forum zu finden; ja die ganze realistische Richtung zehrte im Westen zeitweise von den Zuschüssen eines sympathisierenden kriegsversehrten Mundmalers für eine Münchner Galerie und deren Zeitschrift. Umgekehrt hat es in der DDR mehr als zwei Jahrzehnte gebraucht, bis ein Altmeister des Konstruktivismus, Hermann Glöckner, die verdiente Anerkennung erfuhr. Ein Penck mußte sogar noch später die DDR verlassen, als er von den vertrauten Pfaden des Realismus abwich.

 

Anders die siebziger und achtziger Jahre im Westen. Dort hat sich damals der Realismus aus eigener Kraft wieder einen Weg gebahnt - vom kritischen "Berliner" Realismus über Pop Art bis zu Foto- und anderen Hyperrealismen. Der Begriff des "Kapitalistischen Realismus" war allerdings nicht als Antithese, sondern als Ironie zu verstehen. Zu wirklichem Selbstbewußtsein hat das dem neueren Realismus kaum verholfen. Wer die Katalogbeiträge zur 1. Realismus Triennale des Künstlersonderbunds nach der Wende von 1989unbefangen gelesen hat, mußte zweifeln, ob sich das Selbstverständnis der dort vertretenen Künstler von den Befangenheiten des 20. oder gar des 19. Jahrhunderts gelöst hat. Da wurden die Erbsen des Realismus neu gezählt - der "wahre" Realismus gegen seine phantastischen, "wilden" und naiven Spielarten abgegrenzt, die Alten Meister gegen die Kunst der Moderne ausgespielt und schließlich die neuen Medien der Untauglichkeit für realistische Kunst verdächtigt. Als gälte es, Menzel oder Dix zu kanonisieren, als hinge die Zukunft der Kunst von der Wahl ihrer Säulenheiligen ab. Aber die Kunst ist keine Kirche, und weder Abstraktion noch Realismus sind - weder als Methode, geschweige denn als Schule - alleinseligmachend.

 

Der Augenblick ist günstig, das zu bemerken. Den Anhängern einer sich ewig verjüngenden Moderne sei gesagt, daß auch Realismus kein zeitbefangener Stil einer überholten Epoche sein muß, sondern sich im Wandel der Stile, Techniken und Medien immer neu verwirklichen kann. Er muß nur in der künstlerischen Praxis erneuert werden. Dasselbe haben nämlich inzwischen auch jene erfahren, die Begriff uns Agenda der Moderne für nichtrealistische Kunst besetzt hatten. "Das waren schöne Zeiten", schrieb Ulrich Greiner vor einigen Jahren in der ZEIT, "als einer die Leinwand mit Farbbeuteln bewerfen oder die Kunsthalle mit Feldsteinen belegen konnte und derlei widerspruchslos als Kunst durchging. Die Kritiker erklärten, was das Blumenstaubhäuflein in der ehemaligen Bahnhofshalle bedeuten sollte, und rühmten die zusammengeleimten Dachlatten als Durchbruch. Das Publikum hörte und staunte. Jetzt hört und staunt es immer weniger...solange der Rausch der Moderne alles beherrschte, traute sich keiner den Zwischenruf des Kindes in Andersens Märchen vom Kaiser und seinen Kleidern, es sei denn, er hätte den üblen Geruch auf sich genommen, als Konservativer zu gelten." Welche Lehren werden die daraus ziehen, die den Begriff der Moderne so für sich gepachtet hatten wie Realsozialismus und Sozialistischer Realismus den Begriff des Fortschritts?

 

Tinka Bechert gehört zur jüngeren Generation der Künstler, die darauf eine Antwort zu finden versuchen. In ihren tastenden Versuchen wird deutlich, daß sich die Kunst nicht auf die klassischen Medien beschränken kann und daß sie, zweitens, die Herausforderungen annehmen muß, die im Begriff der virtuellen Realität angelegt ist; der Cyberspace gehört zur Realität des 21. Jahrhunderts. Mag sein, daß in einer Vielfalt künstlerischer Wirklichkeiten eine Tendenz noch stärker werden wird, die Tilman Buddensieg für die Kunst im öffentlichen Raum formuliert hat: daß große Inhalte nicht mehr durch bloße Abbildung, sondern nur durch großen Personalstil noch darstellbar seien. Ein überzeugender Personalstil, der sich in vielfachen Realitätsebenen immer wieder selbst findet, könnte sich - die Beherrschung der neuen Medien und Techniken vorausgesetzt - als wirklichkeitsbildend und wirklichkeitsmächtig erweisen. Das mag noch dunkel klingen, wird aber bald auf jenen Bildschirmen und Bildflächen erhellen, die für unsere Kinder bereits heute die Wirklichkeit bedeuten.

 

Oder sollte der Pessimist Erwin Chargaff recht behalten, der in seinem Essay "Über das Verschwinden fester Formen" schreibt: "Wenn jede Kulturerpoche ein festes Ikon braucht, in dem sie personifiziert erscheint, so war es für die Moderne sicher das Automobil, während die Postmoderne sich im Computer ausgedrückt sehen kann. Er ist der Meister der virtuellen Wirklichkeit, der Scheinwirklichkeit, die sich zur Wirklichkeit so verhält wie der Sarg zur Wiege." Es liegt an Künstlern und Künstlerinnen wie Tinka Bechert, daß der Meister in der Kunst vielleicht doch noch seinen Herrn findet. Sehen wir hin, sehen wir zu.