Dust clouds of memory

Markus Lepper




The potential of the allegorically ruinous thus lies in its ambiguity, given by the fragmentary quality, and therefore in a maximal symbolism, which in over determination almost cancels itself out and lets the emptiness of the sign become the bearer of the new.
(Walter Benjamin)


The veil of remembrance lies on the digital painting of Julia Nuss. However, painting and digitality appear to contradict each other from the very core and in the way they generate truth. Isn't is rather like watching events on a stage through the veil of one's own tears and mistaking them for one's own life? Today: Spring's awakening over a sea of fog, tomorrow: Depeche Mode in dry ice. On thin, semi-transparent paper like the one which used to protect photos in our grandmothers' albums, the pictures have been printed in a glazed blur, so they correspond in this very dulled quality with the inner pictures that we generate regarding our own past. Not being able to grasp Julia Nuss' works is exactly what the works of the painter are about.

I especially like the lack of emotion with which an ink-jet printer produces what I have called an valid picture of memories. But Julia Nuss transfers this impression of the sedimented, this mixture of imagination, calcified relationships and corroded emotions which has settled in many layers also into her painting. One looks into a strangely deep surface and sees pictures that can not be trusted. That's the way it always is with painting!
And while the endless discussion revolves around the appearance of truth and about truth itself, simulation is the only truth we can rely on.
(Aziz und Cuccher, Nachrichten aus Distopia, Kunstforum: 1995)

In the late 1960s Richard Hamilton worked on a series of painterly collages for which he used cosmetics on lithographic paper or an advertisement for toilet paper. In 'Soft Pink Landscape', he shows us a scenery with trees and a picnic as the worn version of an idyll which is confronted with reality's refuse. According to Tillman Osterwold, The unrealistic make-up of objects is followed by Hamilton's ' embellishment through that which stinks and that which irritates the susceptibility of fixed images of the beautiful, the true and the good. The make-believe worlds and manipulated romanticisms seem to dominate the air and the people in such a way that they forget about their pollution.
(Tilman Osterwold, Pop-Art, Taschen: 1992)

In the same way that the media only stage reality for us, seemingly embellishing and idealizing it, making it user-friendly, artists change stale ideas from commercials and design, from abstraction and reality, to their opposite. In her works, by analyzing these veiled incongruities, by pointing out abysses and examining backgrounds, Julia Nuss succeeds in entering the realm of the unconscious, opening up an inner chamber of experience. Something remarkable about this excursion besides registering, documenting and ironically commenting on past events, may also lie in hearing the narrative tone of a romantic journey into the self.

Translation by Anna Bechtloff