May I ask … how many of you have already had the experience of your mobile memory, i.e. your laptop or your external hard-drive, passing into a technological nirvana because of a technical fault? (…) In that case you too know this type of paralysis, completely new in cultural anthropology, in which our psyche beseeches our long-, medium- and short-term memory to kindly remember at once all traces of feelings, plans and productivity of the last months as these are threatening to disappear for ever. In these moments we can sometimes not even remember what we can no longer remember. In such a case the list of what is missing is missing, so to speak, and evidently a type of symmetrical paradox existed between our internal biological memory and our outsourced technological one. This mostly results in a strangely empty dread as no one dies of dead data as we discover a few days later despite everything.
- Visual Devices – Notes on the Work of Oliver Dorfer By Leo Findeisen
Consider the work of Oliver Dorfer as existing between this data and dread. Painting, an mnemonically rich and historically durable media, pushes away the fear of erasure with irascible permanence. While it evokes numerous ruminations, it simultaneously endures as a physical catalogue of data. Dorfer’s work occupies this realm, wherein a plethora of signs are co-opted, compiled, re-assembled, humanized, and left to exist.
In the pulproject/… , Dorfer’s first solo exhibition in New York, the artist presents four new large scale paintings, each displaying a trademark gloss that is enhanced by painting back to front on plexiglas. The resultant image becomes slick, lush, and super-flat, mimicking the aesthetic of Dorfer’s source material, but also belies humanism in its purposed disregard for obsessive paint handling. Ultimately we have simultaneity of fast cultural data and a psychological-mnemonic translation-representation thereof.
Take for instance the painting thepulpproject01 (2008). An amalgam of anime influenced creatures, a seemingly female torso, and an appropriated abstract mark are combined seamlessly into a single, lamb-like, image. The raw material for this comes from a global language of everyday signs and pictograms that are taken, compressed, and assimilated. The final conglomerate image, which is created through layering in Photoshop, is then painted bluntly, brightly, and earnestly.
Born in Linz, Austria in 1963, Oliver Dorfer has exhibited extensively throughout Europe and Asia, most recently with Hilger Contemporary in Vienna, Jung-Bong Lee Gallery in Seoul, and Bonelli Arte Contemporanea in Mantova. This is his first exhibition with Freight + Volume.