Anne Römpp, toujours (2012) 45 x 20 x 20cm, kitchen tiles, finds, magnets Julia Wenz, plastic bag, blue-white (2007), approx. 50 x 50cm, collage in digital print on photograph
Joint exhibition with Julia Wenz, Dialog_Tialog (Dialogue_Trialogue),
Baden-Württemberg Association of Artists at the Biedermann museum in Donaueschingen
„Kannst du das brauchen?“ Can you find a use for that? This question has frequently come up ever since the two artists Anne Römpp and Julia Wenz started sharing a studio. Although the question considers several aspects, it primarily concerns the artistic method itself: found objects and everyday bits and pieces that one artist has no use for might yet prove to be of interest for the other. These objects are moved backwards and forwards in the studio and not infrequently end up in the artistic context of an exhibition. But there is more behind the succinct question whether one artist could find a use for a discarded kitchen tile, say, that the other has found in her hoard of odds and ends but does not need any longer: There is always a hint of irony and self-reference regarding art and the art scene itself.
“Ist das Kunst oder kann das weg?” – Is this art or can I throw it away?
“I can’t find an artistic use for this, but perhaps you can?”
This scrap of conversation started the idea of collaboration between Anne Römpp and Julia Wenz for the exhibition “Dialog”, organized by the Baden-Württemberg association of artists. As already mentioned, the dialogue focuses on seemingly useless, worthless things, always including, of course, personal artistic views and projects. Despite using similar materials, the two artists have very individual ways of expressing their artistic positions. It is precisely this distinction which makes Römpp and Wenz’s Dialog-project so appealing.
In Julia Wenz’s case it is a breadboard on a shopping bag, which suggests alienation of these quite banal objects. The Bavarian blue and white diamond pattern being integrated in the right-angled stripes of a plastic bag gives the impression of an abstract-concrete composition. Printed life-size on photographic paper the sobriety vanishes in the instance of deciphering the assemblage of banal everyday objects. But still the assemblage of industrially produced objects persists, suspense-packed and impressive. It is more than “Frühstücksbrettchen auf Einkaufstüte” -Breadboard on Shopping Bag-, but at the same time, it is exactly that: An image fluttering between the ironic view on art and the fascination for shape and colour.
Anne Römpp picks up bits and pieces where she finds them, whether off the street, from a cosy room or the supermarket, and condenses them to poetic pictures in which the individual objects form fresh connections with one another. The shift in meaning becomes impressively apparent in Römpp’s small wall art works which show floating or hovering objects and balance by means of magnetic force. Things mean something different when they contradict their original use in being placed next to or on top of hitherto unconnected objects. But Anne Römpp’s balancing structures made of everyday objects produce a diverse condensation by their unconventional set-up. By bringing together various different forces and objects, they fathom the changeable nature of balance and meaning again and again.