This applies to Opaques transparents, an aerial installation consisting of two perfectly flat wire parallelograms that, when put in motion by an electric motor, gain volume and deform as they spin in space.
The line—a basic drawing motif and a fundamental element in Raetz’s work—here becomes a kind of autonomous plastic work tool capable of evolving in space just as extensively as it does on paper. Designed to be viewed from a specific angle, this lightweight object obeys geometric principles that involve rigorous calculations.
It needs to be set up very carefully according to detailed instructions supplied by the artist. Despite having to stay still, viewers remain full-fledged participants in the work, because everything takes shape in their point of view and their perception. By observing the subtle movement of these iron silhouettes, they discover a world of changing, indistinct forms, oscillating between fullness and emptiness, between outline and volume.
By exploring a wide variety of optical illusions, Raetz evokes the failure of all representations to capture reality, and the eyes’ failure to truly grasp the visible; out of this vertiginous observation, he creates his distortions, anagrams and metamorphoses. His prodigious ability has made him one of the most accomplished Swiss artists on the international scene.