BIRGIT RAMSAUERS’s DIALOGUE WITH THE UNKNOWN ARTIST
By Eva Schickler, Nuremberg 2007
Whoever originated the scribble, which is the foundation for Birgit Ramsauer's current series, "The Dialogue with the Unknown Artist," now for the first time exhibited in Nürnberg und New York, remains anonymous. It could even be Ross Bleckner, Christo & Jeanne Claude, Hans Haacke, Alex Katz, Jeff Koons, Lawrence Weiner or Marina Abramovic as much as it could originate from any unknown. For many of the world famous as well as unknown artists today live and work in the area of Pearl Paint and shop there - Birgit Ramsauer as well.
The legendary artist supply store on Canal Street in the New York borough of Manhattan became the starting point for the series of small format drawings from the cosmopolitan artist that originated in 2003. Pearl Paint opened in 1933. As the city evolved into a leading art center of the world, Pearl Paint developed into the largest artist supply store with additional branches in existence. Today Pearl Paint is a cult und art - mecca, which also exerts an almost magical appeal to art tourists.
For each artist, who picked up a pencil, left behind doodles on any available small slips of paper: figures, faces, eyes, letters, words, streaks, patterns, which otherwise receive no further attention and in the end land in the garbage, that is until Birgit Ramsauer becomes interested in the anonymous gesticulations.
The artist becomes the "Stylus of Men," she is no longer the soul author of the work. She acts only as the instrument of the ad-lib creator.
Under formal aspects, the pieces Birgit Ramsauer collected and finished into new compositions, are small 8x12 cm papers, filled with experimental scribbles. The result is a predominately colorful spectrum, more or less informal, more or less abstract. Rhythmic color lines, accents, hatchings or points, correspond to the respective emotional choppiness, spontaneity and inspiration. A dialog is engaged, says David Bohm not only with the impression itself, but rather the thought process behind the impression.2 What is so remarkable about the work is thus the artistic mindset which underlies it.
Birgit Ramsauer: "I see myself intrinsically as a performance artist, who not only positions her own body and personality in different societal contexts, but also deliberately leaves behind visible clues. In the tradition of American and German performance art, I engage in foreign contexts and accentuate the chance marks, in which other people unknowingly leave behind. In my performances I operate as a presenter and visual translator of everyday, rather unimpressive human practices, which can happen all over the world. In so doing, I carry out the "securing of evidence", through a more multi-plane type of cultural specific analysis..."
Thus Birgit Ramsauer's drawings are viewed in this way and in-line with her work up until now, particularly for their interaction, inter-communication, for relics of human practices as well as reflective artistic processes in which the performance type and the questions posed are given more meaning in the formulated results. Gestures are even today timeless prototypes of human communication. Their purpose lies ultimately with the interpretation and analysis.