Staying away from the grass is humane

A collage of intermediate results by Johanna K Becker

My friend J. told me about her childhood and one of her early encounters with nature: "My parents are very much into nature. When I was a kid, we often drove with the car into the mountains. We looked at them from the car - we never got out, though."

After almost six months in China, Johanna K Becker reflects in a first attempt on her research on certain Chinese characteristics - such as reflections on "cultural images“ like nature (respectively post nature), fishes and their abundance, foundations and (un)divine mountains.

The three- and two-dimensional works of Johanna K Becker are floating around visions and concepts of nature, landscape, and creation, driven by pure fascination for the unseen, on which we rely every day as pretended. Mostly her early objects remind of mollusks, maritime beings, exotic flora or fauna. Their representation seems to be related to the odd charm of those kinds of natural history museums and curiosity cabinets, where scientific nosiness and fascination are interwoven with a strong aesthetic approach - a phenomenon that reaches from the early modern age to our post-digital present, if one might think of enchanting and kitschy images of unseen zones in space, which only can be represented by means of measurement data and speculations.

In regard to this, the works of Johanna K Becker directly aim at our imagination - the human ability to imagine something that is not present or not yet realized. But imagination does not only achieve an intellectual activity. It is not just a matter of imagining something that is not sensual. But it is also about the human capacity to productively alter the vision of something that is not present. In other words it is about the process of dealing with oneself, into an open future. Imagination is therefore a human practice that is characterized by its own future.

On the other hand, the works of Johanna K Becker provoke a certain uncanniness, in the ambiguity of the term, of absolute alienation and besetting proximity. They are bizarre, toxically colored chimeras that seem to shine out of themselves, out of their insides - sublime objects or the obscene incarnations of the impossible, which exist only in an intermediate, half-born state as something latent, implicit. As bizarre organs, as the essences of a pure surface, without density of a substance, they resemble infinitely deformable objects, at the intersection of the imaginary with the real - while they are so alluring beautiful at the same time.

我朋友J跟我讲述了她的童年和她幼时和大自然的一次接触:“我的父母热爱大自然 — 我小的时候,我们经常会开车进山。我们会坐在车里观望山岭 — 不过我们从来没有下车。”

在中国驻留六个月后,Johanna K Becker 第一次回顾她对中国某些特性进行的研究,其中包括一系列的“文化图景”—— 如大自然、数量众多的鱼群、地基以及(并不)神圣的山脉。

Johanna K Becker对未知/无形的迷恋导致她3D与2D的作品萦绕着有关自然、山水和创造的概念和设想。她很多早期的作品让人联想到软体动物、海生物、奇异的草木与动物。它们的表象具备近似那些自然博物馆和珍品阁的魅力,在这些空间中,科学式的追根究底的好奇心与美学特有的处理相结合。这个现象从早现代一直延伸到我们后数字的当代,也关联到那些依赖测量数据与推测、试图显现无形空间的又诱人又媚俗的图像。

在这方面,Johanna K Becker的作品直接瞄向我们的想象,发挥了人类构想还未出现或实现的事物的能力。不过想象并不只是理智的行为,它所呈现的东西不是无声无色的。换句话说,它是关于如何面对自我以及面向未来。于是,想象是弥漫着未来意识的一个人类行为。

_Staying away from the grass is humane_, 2018

另一方面,Johanna K Becker的作品易于触发一种暧昧的怪怖感,融合了绝对的异化和令人困扰的贴近。它们是古怪、妖艳的奇美拉,似乎从内部自发光芒,代表一种不可能的存在:既是卓越的化身又是龌龊的物体,它们只能以一种间接、潜在、含蓄的方式存在。作为奇异的内脏、纯正平面的精华,它们无物质密度,近似可以无穷变形的物体。它们位于想象与事实的交叉口,同时也如此地迷人美丽。

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