my painting

w. wessely

Every line is a sign.

Why can we understand the meaning of drawings, why do our souls react immediately and in a very distinct manner when seeing for example a drawing done by Matisse, Cocteau, Renoir, Rembrandt or Schiele?

Every line is a sign, which talks very directly to us, because it allows us to find our point of view in the infinity of the world surrounding us and being in ourselves.

I am not painting the things around me, but I am painting the signs, which make the things talk to us. New things donīt know very much, their surface hasnīt seen so much, so they canīt tell us very interesting stories. I prefer to study surfaces of high age like those of the two lorries I found on the south coast of Crete in November 1976. In this case, I had the feeling as if listening to two old men whispering anecdotes of their long lives.

The mandarin on the wall: a small sun touching the horizon of her short being on earth: the signs on her patterned surface are trying to talk about their brotherhood with chinese letters.

Snow as red as blood: snow-fields in the crete mountains are turning into red signs. By changing the color I changed the meaning.

I am highly interested in the points of change: when does a figure change into a letter?, where is the point, that makes out of a shadow a readable sign?, when does a reflection on the water turn into a snake of ligthning or into a greek character called Sigma?

Where and when does the decision about seeing signs in a certain meaning take place?

Trying to find an answer to these questions I had a dream. A young boy was playing with loam. He was throwing balls of loam across a channel. On the other side of the channel rose the wall of an old palazzo. Suddenly I understood what the young boy was doing: he was trying to create meaning by throwing loam across the channel.

So I painted: Southern Childhood,  Boy throwing Loam across the Channel


about my films

continuity, discontinuity. the quantum leap from frame to frame. the affinities of the images, the negation of gravity, the equality of all directions. the serial principle realized through film.
is that music that i hear?
i began with impressionism. monet, for example, was not just a romantic going wrong, he also examined the newest discoveries in physics during his time, he wanted to paint quantums of light. my topic is quantums of movement. within "information-motion, the problem of identity" i search for structures in my urban environment that are similar to one another, and film then in one-second-takes, presenting an illusion of their identity. (the greatest illusion ist the imagination of illusionlessness.)
but i do still maintain the freedom of being able to break away from the concept and allow the inspiration of the moment to speak for itself. in some of my earlier films, the theme is the nagation of up and down, the nagation of left and right.
i think my goal was to dissolve conventions of perception that had become unconscious in order to grow closer to the origin of seeing. outer space does not begin just above the stratosphere, we are right in the middle of it. the films were created in a trance-like condition between being awake and sleeping, a condition which the surrealists were very interested in, because it allows for new types of interpretations of reality and unreality. nonetheless, they are not surrealistic films. it is my thinking which has become visible in the form of film. each single frame has become a note in the composition, and the film itself has become something like a symphony of light sources. i began working with film in 1977/78 when i had just begun to paint a series of checkerboard paintings. as a result of this, the number eight and the dualistic principle both play important roles in my films: "turning", "turning street" and "foto plus minus" . being a great admirer of chineses calligraphy, i later went on to engrave symbols directly onto the material. in "calligraphic dance" sequences of images from "turning" correspond with the dancing signs. boarder zones of perception. image in motion or dancing sign?
what appears to be a double-exposure in "fotografia venezia II" is really a temporal interpretation of the images shown, which originate from a catalogue of a large photography exhibition in venice. light beams that move across the image symbolize the sunīs circle, the time passing by. and of course the films play with the frequencies of human perception and, in this respect, are optical music: in the film "feel the ribs/ ribs keys" this type of play becomes visible as play on words. the ribs represent the individual frames in the film, and also the keys on a piano: the only thing the eye has to do is to feel out the whole thing. (W.W.)

rollsmovie 32x


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