In his first solo show in Italy, the Swiss multi-media artist Yves Netzhammer – born in 1970 in Schaffhausen – transforms the space of the Galerie Museum by means of wall drawings and projected computer animations into a mysterious, poetic, pictorial cosmos.
Yves Netzhammer’s works evolve from computer-created drawings. He uses them to compose very strange stories, which in a model-like way reflect our lebenswelt. The drawings are of an enigmatic nature, they are full of ciphers, which in the head of each individual viewer lead to new associations and connections. The protagonist in Netzhammer’s films is a faceless and sexless jointed doll. This figure appears highly artificial and technoid, nevertheless it is an ideal representation of the human being as such and a projection screen for our phantasies.
In his stories, Netzhammer creates chains of action that are all about links and transformational relations between the human world, the world of objects and fauna and flora. By means of dramaturgic and optical ruptures, embedding and branching, sequences of images are strung together which address the proximity of perfect world and catastrophe.
The artist translates the philosophically and psychologically loaded problem of the border between the self and the other, between internal and external reality, into images reminiscent of Ovid’s metamorphoses. The main topics are the fundamental questions of life, illness, love, sexuality, and death. Netzhammer never overburdens the viewer with dramaturgic effects, which in turn allows for her to access the subtly powerful stories with utmost openness and receptivity.
Netzhammer’s techniques of imaging are reminiscent of visual simulation in the sciences, which are employed as a means to make invisible processes visible (for instance abstract representations of virus as red balls). Netzhammer’s stories are comparable to such scientific set-ups for experiments. Although the stories’ events are reminiscent of real patterns in our everyday life, they cannot be explained according to logical laws. Netzhammer rather traces subconscious links, his images evoke thoughts and links in the head of the viewer; they evoke feelings.
The natural and the artificial converge, fiction and reality merge. The absence of place, time and scale blur firm borders; therefore, meanings may be shifted over and over again. Netzhammer’s model-like pictorial language creates mental landscapes, which in their remoteness and coolness describe our world all the more precisely, sensually, and painfully.