oh boy oh boy
Past exhibition at Bernhard Knaus Fine Art:
Exhibition ended October 27, 2012
The pictures of this series are reminiscent of early mosaics as well as of coloured glass windows. The artist sets these associations deliberately with strong links to pictorial traditions on the one hand and to motives which
are imprinted on our cultural memory on the other.
Like in his earlier works, everything starts with photographic images. However, in this case Buetti reuses images, which do not derive from fashion magazines but from documentary photography. They tell from terror, war
and seemingly insoluble conflicts. Their cruelty and suffering cause dismay. Mostly, these images reach us only via private snapshots along intricate paths. The artist converts these pictures towards abstraction and thereby
extinguishes large parts of their information. Through the form of their new presentation and its underlying character, they nearly become icons. As before, Buetti irritates us with a sense for aesthetic arrangements and a
pretended enticing beauty.
The artist transforms the original motives through many production steps on the computer in such a way that their original content seems to disappear behind the aesthetic surface. Parts of the pictures are extracted and substituted
with coloured pieces in different sizes. Merely the outlines of the central figures and structures remain rudimentarily recognizable, although they are also segregated into little colour-segments. However, the intervention goes
further. The outlines are cut out with a laser contour cut, so that a mosaic-like surface emerges.
In most works, several figures are to be recognised. Without knowledge of the original image, the scenes are not discernible. Only indications remain. In the work „oh boy oh boy_V“, an image of a prisoner tortured by American
soldiers from Abu Ghraib in Bagdad remains unambiguously recognizable. As a result, incertitude arises in terms of what we see in all other works of the series. The title of the series pushes this ambivalence even further. As an
exclamation of surprise the German correspondence of the series title „oh boy oh boy! “ leaves open whether it is a remark of joy or, else, desperation.
In the 1990s, Daniele Buetti became well known for his alienations of photographs from the world of advertising and fashion. By scratching or perforating the surfaces of these photographs, he foiled social conventions of beauty
and identity based on consumption.
Also in his new series “oh boy oh boy” Daniele Buetti’s critical approach becomes detectable only at a second view. Horror-pictures like the ones from the prisons of Abu Ghraib and Guantánamo seem to lose their fright by constant
reuse in the media, which has reduced their value to pure means of recognition. Somehow, Daniele Buetti has found a way to render their aura.
Copyright: Bernhard Knaus Fine Art and Daniele Buetti.