The Landscape That Is Living Together with Us About the Work of Lucia KEMPKES

Parallax:Ebene drawing #1, pigment on paper, ca. 150x180cm, 2015


Parallax:Tal drawing #1, graphite on paper, 150x720cm, 2016.


Parallax:Ebene, video loop,10min,
at Lucia Kempkes: Parallax:Ebene (sound by Stefan Maier), 67, NYC, 2015.


Parallax: Berg drawing #1, sawn paper sculptures, all different dimensions,2015/16.
at Lucia Kempkes and Tim Wulff - Parallax: Fata Morgana, SLEEP CENTER, NYC, 2016.
and Lucia Kempkes - Parallax: Tal, Display, Berlin, 2016.


Parallax:Ebene drawing #2, graphite on paper, 150x430cm, 2015.


Parallax:Fata Morgana, photocollage, 2016.


Parallax:Berg drawing #2, graphite on paper, 150x360cm, 2015.


Parallax:Fata Morgana #1, hand drawn stereogram,graphite on paper,150x220cm, 2015.


Parallax:Fata Morgana #2, hand drawn stereogram, graphite on paper,150x230cm, 2015.


o.T. Landschaft #1, paper and pigment, ca. 300x200cm, 2014.


Paper Object #1, sewn paper (white thread, white paper), 150x10x10cm, 2014.
Parisloops, Video loop, 2014.



Five drawings (two above), graphite on paper, each 350x300cm, 2014.
Installation of Myriorama #2 at Espace Surplus, Berlin, 2014.


o.T. Landschaft #2, paper and pigment, 160x200cm, 2014.


o.T. Landschaft #4, video loop, 10min, 2014.
at Lucia Kempkes: Mindscape Universe, Galerie Vincenz Sala, Paris, 2014.
and at Zur Perle, Groupshow at Embassy, Berlin, 2015.


Paper Object #4, sewn paper and china ink, various dimensions, 2014.


o.T. Landschaft #8, paper and pigment, ca. 210x300cm, 2015.


o.T. Landschaft #6, paper and pigment, ca. 80x60cm, 2014.


o.T. Landschaft #7, freestanding drawing, china ink on paper, 150x100x60cm, 2015.


Paper Topography
Leporello book made of 98 drawings,fineliner on paper, each 21x29,7cm, 2013.
at Letting Grow, Espace surplus, Berlin, 2014.


Mindscape, video loop, 25min, 2013.


graphite on paper, 350 x 210cm, 2011.


The reason we feel comfortable in an enormous landscape is that we believe it will always be present firmly. The reason we are in need of this belief is that uncertainty in our lives brings anxiety and fear, even though making our lives various. Therefore, we always seek things that are comforting and immutable — a memory of childhood, of home and a mighty scenery are examples. However, because nothing intrinsically exists in perpetuity, we are faced with a deep despair. What I find in Lucia KEMPKES' works are the weaknesses and uncertainties of the landscape.

Usually brought up in the philosophical discourses of a landscape is Immanuel KANT's ‘theory of the sublime.’ For KANT, the sublime is distinguishable from the “beauty” that is our “disinterested and free satisfaction” on “the form of finality of an object.” The sublime is something that makes us feel “the unknown pleasure” though it evokes a feeling of “displeasure” by making our existence uncertain. Contemplation is an essential component of the sublime. In the history of western art, landscape painting idealizes reality as it focuses on mythological and religious scenes. In the 17th century landscapes of the Flemish painters, “sacred scenes” are replaced with “realistic scenes” as the focus of the paintings becomes centered on where the mundane everyday activities of human occur. Consequently, the discourse of the landscape that was once dominated by the sublime becomes one that is concerned with beauty. KEMPKES advances questions regarding the perspectives on landscapes we hold on to. And she expresses these questions through various media: drawing, video, and three-dimensional works using paper.

What she focuses on is 'moving landscape’ in order to introduce the contemporary ideologies into the conception of classical landscape. She cites KANDINSKY as she emphasizes that the lines of a drawing are also the traces of moving dots. Moreover, she expresses that the characteristics of a drawing are no different from those of video. What we can pay attention to here is that from the perspective of time and through the movement of our bodies, a landscape often transforms — depending on our emotion, mood, and circumstance. Therefore, what we face in front of KEMPKES' enormous installation is a pliable and uncertain landscape. However, we must not misunderstand that this uncertainty is any different from Vanitas' Nihilism — a concern that occupied 16th-17th century European art. Rather, KEMPKES' work reconsiders the relationship between the subject and object of a viewpoint, relocates a modern epistemology after its decomposition, and evokes the absence of truth as truth's past vibrates through the entire process (she reveals the uncertainty of truth). Her work, therefore, deviates from the method of gazing at the past, which only traces a fixed perspective.

According to Genevieve Lipinsky DE ORLOV who has previously written about KEMPKES' work, it coexists within analog and digital mechanisms, where physical intervention plays an important role. In her works, there are the traces of her friends who live in New York and Paris (photographs of a landscape that were sent and taken by iPhones). There is also a device that helps view the subject from multiple directions after taking the photo from various angles (for example, elements of the landscape such as mountains). However, most landscapes are from the countryside. When talking about the combination of the analog and the digital, it includes the coexistence between drawing and video. At the same time, there may also be an aspect of the digital device's excessive participation in constructing the analog image. As it was outlined earlier in this essay earlier her methods allow us to reflect on certain ideologies constructed from the idealized western landscape. When unrealistically sacred landscapes engage with mundane daily life, we need to remember that we draw the attention and hearts of the majority of the audience, not only the few who are in power. The landscapes came to express a humanist ideology, rather than that of God. Humans and landscapes in KEMPKES' work possess a non-dualistic character — neither subject nor object —, as they coexist and enjoy a time in which they move together. We will not be able to hope for the day that we will meet our lover in an idealized warm autumn day – because in a sense we are already there at the moment. In her work and exhibitions, we encounter the new and ever-changing. Her three-dimensional works constructed from paper and drawings of her body and the analog images mediated by digital technology create new ways to move and transform with your sensibility and circumstance, within the various conditions. This is a virtue of the landscape that weaves with our reality — this place where we live.

"This critic was included in the publication by SeMA Nanji Residency in 2016."

Jihye Kim


성실한 것에 대한 무의미한 태도
Commissioned Artwork - 이윤백
Life Cultivation
Sheryl Cheung
연관성의 미학 : 수에나