David Muth — On C.D. Friedrich

ALAKERTA | 13. — 30.5.2017

In a series of videos entit­led “On C.D. Friedrich”, David Muth enga­ges with the famous German pain­ter and his par­ticu­lar approach to the depic­tion of landsca­pe. In one video we are pre­sen­ted with a drum­mer sit­ting behind his kit who is wor­king the drums. The sce­ne is taking place in the Finnish woods. The fra­ming of the shot has been cho­sen care­ful­ly accor­ding to the principles of pic­to­rial com­po­si­tions that were the land­mark of German Romantic pain­ting. Most impor­tant­ly, the sub­ject is enti­re­ly sub­su­med by the landsca­pe, the drum­mer is sta­ged in the back of the open volu­me and the­re­fo­re beco­mes a com­po­si­tio­nal ele­ment that is part of the wider ensemble gene­ra­ted by Muth’s visual selec­tion.

In Casper David Friedrich’s uni­ver­se, natu­re was posi­ted as a mir­ror of the soul of
indi­vi­duals aiming to with­draw from the loo­ming cata­strop­hes of industrial alie­na­tion.
But in a sta­te of “transcen­den­tal home­less­ness”, as Georg Lukacs so ada­mant­ly put it, indi­vi­duals inc­rea­singly seem to lack the capaci­ty to expe­rience the dif­fe­rence between sub­jects and envi­ron­ments as aest­he­tical­ly plea­sing. The pro­ta­go­nists in Muth’s video series don’t have the expe­rience of the “sublime”that was so impor­tant for Romanticism, and they don’t admi­re the landsca­pe — ins­tead they appear to be caught up in their own uni­ver­ses, circu­la­ting around the suns of their own acti­vi­ties.

Axel Stockburger, 2014