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Steiner & Lenzlinger

Grottenbilder , 2005
10 photographs
42.0 x 56.0 cm each
Grottenbilder are dreamlike landscapes of bright colours and motley textures that feature a multitude of disparate elements side by side. Neither totally artificial nor altogether organic, these landscapes are an invitation to escape that the art duo Gerda Steiner & Jörg Lenzlinger extends to us. But whether they are leading us into the depths of the earth, to an enchanted island, or through the bowels of the human body, these two artists take care to cover reality’s tracks.

They are collectors of objects that seem to come from every quarter and which our artists pick up in the course of various adventures and travels. By drawing the material of their artwork from this hoard, they reinvent life. Here their fantasy-rich motifs are the result of digital montage that interweaves views of their earlier shows with travel photos. Through these digital assemblages, Steiner & Lenzlinger transpose part of the magical atmosphere of their installations whilst bringing the collage process into the information age.

Grottenbilder are literally images of caves and the two artists play on this meaning. Mysterious underground cavities that are often illuminated nowadays by coloured lights in artificial tonalities, caves remain fertile ground for fantasies and legends. In the artists’ photographs the combination of dissimilar elements thus gives rise to a host of different visual suggestions: a biological phenomenon here, organs there, further on a mineral transformation or the teeming plenty of life.

Superimposed, recognisable figures are changed into extraordinary visions and generate all sorts of possible narratives whose common denominator seems to be the notion of fertility, that energy that makes the growth of all living forms possible. Between aerial networks and the twists and turns of nerves, a swirl of kaleidoscopic shapes dancing over the images acts like a catalyst of viewers’ dreams and imagination.
Gerda/Jörg Steiner/Lenzlinger, Grottenbilder , Images de grottes, 2005