Viola Relle and Raphael Weilguni at Markus Lüttgen

Artists: Viola Relle, Raphael Weilguni

Exhibition title: mit Menschen leben

Venue: Markus Lüttgen, Düsseldorf, Germany

Date: April 3 – May 25, 2019

Photography: all images copyright and courtesy of the artist and Markus Lüttgen, Düsseldorf

A little over nine years ago, a young man stepped into my class-studio at the Academy of Fine Art in Munich. Raphael Weilguni seemed to be delicate at first, almost fragile. However, his sensitive perception and his disciplined focus would not allow any other conclusion, I was dealing with a frightless mind. Always trying to lend his paintings the needed degree of tension so that they can withstand.

Two years later, Viola Relle started her studies at the Academy and soon enough, the young couple collaborated creatively. Weilguni, a person seeking states of balance in higher spheres and Relle, a child of the wind; wild, impulsive and tenacious.

Both, airy characters, each in their own way, found themselves taming sluggish mud together. One could mean, that this constellation creates works by having aggressive confrontations that are then ostensibly visible. Nevertheless, Relle and Weilguni groom a spiritual exchange in their work, where strengths and weaknesses are successfully yielded. Being driven by this dialogue, they aimfully exhaust their materials properties. A countless number of tests and trial runs are essential before the joint findings are to be applied in consent. When the handling of the matter is mastered, the mind can craft freely; a thought as simple as effective. This way, they are able to threateningly oppose fragile elements with rough ones, linking them together; sometimes cunningly playful, sometimes brutally consequent, always with a heightened sensitivity.

Thin porcelain fragments nest in clay constructions, who’s impact wrings with balance. Plaster elements swell out of complex passages, as if there was a leakage of a strange filling. Flipping ones perception, one can also speculate a symbiotic fungal infestation.

The collectively formed and glazed ceramics, shimmer or wobble peculiarly, depending on the velocity of ones perception. The same piece appears organic at times, as if it were extracted from a prehistoric monster and then conserved. Other times, one supposes a mechanical origin. With their metallic infiltrated color-palette, they could be found objects from a future past. The works are detached. Whether laying on the ground like driftwood, on top of pedestals like found objects or hanging from the ceiling like skeletons at the natural history museum; they seem like indications of forgotten events, witnesses of unknown occurrences.

It is this unhinged aspect that fascinates me and gives me peace. When Viola Relle and Raphael Weilguni place their works into the world, it is a comment on transience that I recognize. Even if civilization will one day come to an end and the constant breath of time has eradicated all memory of our presence, its tracks and fragments will be carried on further and further.

So when the great Nihil comes to visit me again (from nihilism to annihilation) with my thoughts dissolving in themselves, I like to observe Relle and Weilguni’s work. I deepen myself into them, like an archeologist looses himself in an antique belt buckle. Just like the belt buckle, a vehicle into the past used by the archeologist, the sculptures tear me away, taking me with them, onto a path beyond any type of end. And out of nowhere (like this reference), I hear Moondog, the mighty anachronist’s soft voice “I’m in the world…but I’m not of it”.

Viola Relle, Raphael Weilguni, mit Menschen leben, 2019, exhibition view, Markus Lüttgen, Düsseldorf

Viola Relle, Raphael Weilguni, mit Menschen leben, 2019, exhibition view, Markus Lüttgen, Düsseldorf

Viola Relle, Raphael Weilguni, mit Menschen leben, 2019, exhibition view, Markus Lüttgen, Düsseldorf

Viola Relle, Raphael Weilguni, mit Menschen leben, 2019, exhibition view, Markus Lüttgen, Düsseldorf

Viola Relle, Raphael Weilguni, mit Menschen leben, 2019, exhibition view, Markus Lüttgen, Düsseldorf

Viola Relle, Raphael Weilguni, mit Menschen leben, 2019, exhibition view, Markus Lüttgen, Düsseldorf

Viola Relle, Raphael Weilguni, mit Menschen leben, 2019, exhibition view, Markus Lüttgen, Düsseldorf

Viola Relle, Raphael Weilguni, mit Menschen leben, 2019, exhibition view, Markus Lüttgen, Düsseldorf

Viola Relle, Raphael Weilguni, untitled, 2018, Acrylic on canvas, 122 x 113

Viola Relle, Raphael Weilguni, Scherenschnitt (Knie), 2019, glazed ceramic, dental plaster, watercolor, Japanese lacquer, glass, cord, ca. 50 x 24 x 71 cm

Viola Relle, Raphael Weilguni, Trickle down, 2018/19, glazed ceramic, dental plaster, tin, epoxy, ca. 39 x 33 x 34 cm

Viola Relle, Raphael Weilguni, Scheinarchäologie (Arm), 2018/19, glazed porcelain, dental plaster, ca. 35 x 60 x 34 cm

Viola Relle, Raphael Weilguni, Rinnsal, 2018/19, glazed ceramic, dental plaster, ca. 50 x 30 x 18

Viola Relle, Raphael Weilguni, Ohne Titel, 2019, several watercolors on paper, different sizes

Viola Relle, Raphael Weilguni, (selber) Giorgio, 2018, glazed ceramic, ca. 78 x 45 x 45 cm

Viola Relle, Raphael Weilguni, Ohne Titel, 2018, Acrylic on canvas, 149 x 110 cm

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