Pablo Schlumberger and Fynn Ribbeck at Kunstverein Siegen

Artists: Pablo Schlumberger and Fynn Ribbeck

Exhibition title: Ex Nihilo

Curated by: Jennifer Cierlitza

Venue: Kunstverein Siegen, Siegen, Germany

Date: October 28 – December 11, 2022

Photography: Simon Vogel / all images copyright and courtesy of the artist and Kunstverein Siegen

Note: Exhibition poster is available here and floor plan is available here

Sleep. State of the unconscious. Regeneration for body and soul. Place of dreams. The night has an individual meaning for each person. Most people find rest and sleep in these hours. Others turn night into day in nocturnal revelry or use intoxicants to escape the dreariness of everyday life and problems in a trance-like state of existence. The state of sleep, intoxication and dreaming cannot be grasped, as if it came from nowhere – ‚Ex Nihilo’ – in a sphere apart from the concrete. In their narrative constellations, Pablo Schlumberger and Fynn Ribbeck create pictorial worlds that transport the visitor into atmospheric dream worlds.

In his works, Pablo Schlumberger (*1990) deals in a humorous way with the question of the representation and perception of things. The installation ‚Horror Vacui’ explores places of drinking as images and structures in which a certain temporality seems to be preserved. The bottles are deformed and twisted in on themselves – almost as if they were staggering and alcoholized by their own contents. The center of his installation is the two beds in the room. On the one hand, the bed is a very intimate place; on the other hand, the bed as such is universal. Schlumberger combines them with various objects to create narrative constellations and charges the objects poetically. His work consists of several series of countless objects, which he reassembles and rearranges depending on the spatial conditions. In return, he offers us “serving suggestions”: we can read the things this way and relate them to each other – though we will never know the full story behind them.

Fynn Ribbeck (*1995) is interested in the interfaces of our digital and our physical world. In an experimental approach to the medium of film, he builds his own virtual reality as an animation with the help of a 3D program. The video work “Solid State Dream” shows a fictional, simulated dream in a loop. The scenes flow into each other and move almost in slow motion between different worlds, of which we become a part through the monumental size of the projection, which takes up the entire exhibition space. The exhibition space also contains three abstracted figures, collaged from scenes in the video and mounted on illuminated pedestals. These are deformed versions of virtual objects that he transfers analogously into reality. The figures and objects seem to cross the digital boundary and jump from two- to three-dimensionality. Ribbeck thus connects to our tangible experiences and memories and transforms the figures into real existing beings.

In a world where we are driven by constant accessibility, sensory overload and lack of sleep, is there enough space in our subconscious?  Pablo Schlumberger and Fynn Ribbeck offer us the opportunity to find this space with their narrative constellations, as ‚Ex Nihilo‘ explores places, images and structures, inner worlds of experience and states of existence that are on the threshold between real and surreal, analog and digital, and on the borderline of expanding perception and consciousness.