Andreas Heuch - Love has no end


This is what allegory does in the field of "plastic" art. One could therefore describe its intrusion as gross riots against the peace and order of artistic law.

      - Carl Horst, Baroque Problems, Munich 19121

Andreas Heuch (b. 1972) is the third artist invited to exhibit in the Nøstetangen room at Drammens Museum, in the exhibition series Solo. First out was ceramicist Marit Tingleff, then the Swiss artist duo Peter Fischli & David Weiss showed their famous film «Der Lauf der Dinge». The Nøstetangen room houses the permanent assembly of Drammens Museum's fabulous collection of glass trophies from Nøstetangen. The beautiful room, designed by Reidun Bull-Hansen, also features highlights from the museum's silver collection, Drammens faience and tin. As part of the permanent installation, painted canvas fields are included, which were originally part of the 1760s interior at Fossesholm manor.

Andreas Heuch is a postmodern artist. He is exhibiting in Drammen during a period where he is making a formidable breakthrough in Norwegian contemporary art. The year 2003 has seen the following works by Andreas Heuch: the garden project in front of Kunstnernes Hus, the large installation in the Oslo Art Association, the solo exhibition in Galleri Wang in Oslo and an installation at the Carnegie Art Award 2004, and now installation in Nøstetangenrommet.

Cupid's arrows
Heuch shows a combination of a place-specific floor / mural and a presentation of his collection of cultural and natural objects. As a starting point for his thinking about this challenging task - namely to bring his collection into an existing museum collection - he has taken the beautifully designed inscription on the Bacchus Cup (blown by the master James Keith and engraved by the great HG Köhler in the mid-1760s) . The inscription is framed by a Rococo frame, made as an extension of the Baroque cartouches: the architecturally lush frame around the inscription: "Love has no End". Heuch has used this motif to create a modified motif in photoshop, where the neat 18th century engraving gets a shadow that grows out of the curved lines of the cartridge. This shadow is backlit on the invitation card, so that it becomes an ambiguous and almost scary shape. The black shape is in contrast to the Rococo, completely of our time. It's a mixture of the eerie tentacles of ghost portrayals, the psychedelic flowing patterns of our recent past, and it's an example of an amoebic form, as we can see it in the electron microscope, in the Ghost Journal and in the slimy special effects of Hollywood movies and synthetic, adhesive nets.

That a high-bourgeois rococo form like the one we can enjoy on the trophy can provide a shadow with such a new and mass media expression, is striking. And it is in the connection between the baroque / Rococo style and the sensitivity of postmodern art that the nerve in this installation by Andreas Heuch lies. For it addresses many of today's most relevant artistic themes: the allegory as an expression of a melancholy longing to save fragments from the past, the relationship between one's own private history and the collective history; the desire to create new forms and new meaning based on already existing images, forms and fragments; the «linguistic turn», and the desire discussed in relation to the gender distinction, gender roles and society's understanding framework and general - but changing - morality.

In the 1990s, much of the discussion was characterized by themes around the body, sexuality, desire, longing, otherness, exclusion, etc. One became our ambiguity and ambiguity. Our little rococo cartouche is also ambiguous. Like most of the language, the phrase "Love Has No End" has several meanings. The most obvious is, of course, that it lasts forever (until death do us part, while the love of God in truth works beyond this threshold as well). But the sentence can also mean that love - especially erotic love - can be a careless journey that leads nowhere well, that it as an unhappy story has no end. The linguistic ambiguity in this case is reinforced by the fact that in front of the inscription is engraved a small Cupid, a cute, small figure with the bow around the chest and the quiver full of arrows (the most important attributes are correctly in place). And this little guy stands as it should be a cupid, with his ass bare. So the lover of love then has men one end, the body part that has given space to the expression anus, as in anal, as in anal sex or Sodomy.
Cupid, or Cupid as he is also called, the Greek-born mythological figure, was portrayed in the Baroque and Rococo as a small plump boy. He was sweet enough, but he always cast a shadow. In mythology and older imagery, Cupid can be depicted with blindfolds; he can be depicted with a burning torch and sleeping, or with a globe. One must assume that the circle drawn on the Nøstetangen Cup is a reference to the circle of the globe, a symbol of the universality of love. But both the blindfold and the torch are symbols of sin, and the misfortunes Cupid can cause with his arrows. Diana was the defender of chastity and her nymphs were constantly looking for Cupid's arrows, to break them, burn them - or cut his wings. The torch, ie the symbol of what is going on, is a sign that the earthly pleasures Amor invites to are transient. It is this attribute that makes Cupid used in Christian grave monuments.

With Köhler and the rich people of the 18th century, it is Amor with his bare butt that turns the passer-by around in an endless circle of love. Not all artists are as educated as Köhler, and now Heuch. That a whispering and mischievous Cupid not only pulls his finger over the edge of his lip in an 18th century painting, but can also lead his finger into much deeper, wetter and warmer folds, the American artist Zoe Leonard reminded us in his installation in the Neue Galerie in Kassel below Documenta IX in 1992. The museum in Kassel houses a series of pictures by the great 18th century painter Johann Heinrich Wilhelm Tishbein. Between beautiful paintings on beautiful brocade walls, Leonard had hung up a series of coarse-grained, black-and-white photographs of the female sex. Nothing else, focus straight up in the splitting step. Little Cupid's careful allusion was here spelled with the capital letters and the aesthetics of confrontation became as brutal as it was overly clear.

Andreas Heuch plays with mute. His balancing act based on the ambiguity of the endless love that actually has an end, both in that it often ends and can be directed towards an end, can be illustrated with the title he has put on his painting-object installation at the Carnegie Art Award 2004. He has called the Passing fancy, that is, an infatuation that is transient, fleeting - that lived it in the fleeting light of Cupid's torch.

The heavy theory
In the Western discourse on international contemporary art, there are three key references in particular that can shed light on the issues that lie in allegorical representations such as the engraved cartridge on the Bacchus Cup. The German philosopher Walter Benjamin (1892-1940) linked in his study of the origins of the German mourning play (Ursprung des deutchen Trauerspiel, 1928), this literary baroque phenomenon to allegory and melancholy. This text forms one of the most important references for the American art historian and critic Craig Owens (1951 - 1990) in his standard text on the allegorical impulse in contemporary art. In the essay "The Allegorical Impulse: Toward a Theory of Postmodernism", originally published in the journal October in 1980, he highlights this as the hallmark of postmodern art itself. And among the deconstruction theorists it is the Belgian-American literary scholar Paul de Man (1919-83), who has emphasized allegory as the inevitable condition of language and reading, that everything we write and read happens in a medium that is allegorical in its function, ie existing of random, but structurally and historically coded, pieces that we can put together into texts that seem holistic and that seem true.
It is one of the preconditions of postmodernism that everything can potentially function as a sign. Whether it is objects, visual images, words, concepts or the like, these can in principle be treated the same: they can be put together into texts, collages, exhibition installations or puzzles. They are all pregnant with meaning, but not an inherent and eternal meaning. Meaning is an added, created, intended human meaning that can and must be interpreted. Before we take a closer look at Craig Owens' influential text, let's set the tone for a few examples from Benjamin and de Man's most relevant writings in this area.

In the book Allegories of Reading, Figural Language in Roussau, Nietzsche, Rilke, and Proust (New Haven and London 1979), Paul de Man deals with the relationship between our notion of something as preceding completely and truly, and the language in which we express these beliefs. He shows in a brilliant example how some of the great poets - the sages and the truth-mirrors - were aware of this shortcoming in the language. In an interpretation-contradictory passage in the Orpheus sonnets (published in German in 1923), Rainer Maria Rilke writes, and I quote him in English translation after Paul de Man in the chapter "Tropes (Rilke)":

Keep the sky. Is there no constellation called "Horseman"?
For we have been taught, singularly, to expect this:
This pride of earth, and his companion
Who drives and holds him, and whom he carries.

Is he not, thus spurred and then reined in,
Like the nervous nature of Being?
Track and turn. But a pressure brings them together.
New expanse and the two are one.

But are they truly? Or is the track they
travel together not the meaning of their way?
Table and pasture part them more than names

Star-patterns may deceive
But it pleases us, for a while,
to believe in the figure. That is enough.

Paul de Man writes about this passage: “Although it does not have the same doctrinal tone of some texts with a similar theme, the poem is important for an understanding of Rilke's poetics, since it deals with the recurrent and central figure of constellation. The constellation signifies the most inclusive form of totalization, the recuperation of a language that would be capable of naming the remaining presence of being beyond death and beyond time. ”2 The constellation - the constellation - is a well-chosen example: It is in our Kantian tradition the only thing besides the moral law in his interior something that could vote Immanuel Kant to awe. The constellation becomes a picture of a moral law that is eternal, humanly inherent and God-given. But we all know that the constellations are fictions, something that is not intended, but something that is interpreted as a parable with images, seen from our point of view, namely the earth. The similarity of the constellations is not based on eternal laws, they are random and created by humans. This was what the lyricist was aware of and thus his use of images becomes an allegory of poetry as such. The task of poetry to present eternal truths, and the being of Existence, becomes an impossibility due to the language in which the poem is written. Rilke himself - and interpreted by de Man - reveals the unity as an illusion. The two become only one for a stacked moment.

Walter Benjamin laid the body under the allegory. In the chapter "The corpse as an emblem" Benjamin writes: "And if the spirit in death is free in the manner of spirits, the body also first comes into its own here. For it goes without saying: the energetic allegorization of nature can only be carried out on the corpse. And the characters of the mourning game die, because only in this way - as a corpse - can they wander into the homeland of allegory. They do not perish for the sake of immortality, but for the sake of the corpse. "He gives us his body as a pledge for a last favor," says Carl Stuart's daughter about the father - who in turn never forgot to ask for embalming. Viewed from the point of view of death, life is a production of corpses. It is not only in the loss of limbs or in the changes of the aged body, but in all the processes of excretion and purification that the like falls piece by piece off the body. ”3 In all this gloom Walter Benjamin does not lose - who, after all, wrote a scientific dissertation on the topic - the analytical coolness: "For the mourning games of the sixteenth century, the corpse is simply the foremost emblematic prop" .4 - Death entails a loss of meaning. One is powerless over holistic life that perishes and falls apart.

In literary form, this is allegorically linked to the art museums' collections, as they are placed as stars in a fictional image, our image of the past constructed as Art and Culture History. In Benjamin's thorough and complicated treatment of the theme, it is the melancholy that characterizes the gaze of the allegorists, when she sees the pieces of lost unity, and puts them together into new images, new wholes, new works of art. - The allegory never becomes seamless, its structure is composition and fracture, its structure is like that of language. And this is where we can go to Craig Owens, who just connects Benjamin's reflections on the loss of the past to the philosophy of language philosophy in the mechanisms of language. 

The mechanics of allegory
Regarding what is most characteristic of the allegory, Owens writes: "its capacity to rescue from historical oblivion that which threatens to disappear." 5 He further states that the allegory occurs when "one text is doubled by another". : «He does not restore an original meaning that may have been lost or obscured: allegory is not hermeneutics. Rather he adds another meaning to the image. If he adds, however, he does so only to replace (..) it is a supplement. »7 This is supplemented later in the article with« Allegory is extravagant, an expenditure of surplus value; it is always in excess. Croce found it "monstrous" precisely because it encodes two contents within one form. Still the allegorical supplement is not only an addition, but also a replacement. It takes the place of an earlier meaning, which is thereby either effaced or obscured. »8

After these reflections on the mechanics of allegory - which are otherwise printed in meticulous linguistic terms in the article - Owens Benjamin, who in this case has the following to say about the allegory's relationship to mood and the person making the allegory: «If the object becomes allegorical under the gaze of the melancholy, if melancholy causes life to flow out of it and it remains behind dead, but eternally secure, then it is exposed to the allegorist, it is unconditionally in his power. That is to say it is now quite incapable of emanating any meaning or significance of its own; such significance as it has, it acquires from the allegorist. He places it within it, and stands behind it; not in a psychological but in an ontological sense »9 Since allegory has to do with the desire to save something that cannot be recreated in its original whole and meaning, melancholy is thus evoked. In connection with the graphic artist Charles Meyron, who tried to create images of the city of Paris with traces of its past intact, Owens writes: "and from the will to preserve the traces of something that was dead, or about to die, emerged allergory." 10

The allegory is thus different from what we usually understand by works of art, which we like to perceive as whole, organic and real. Walter Benjamin writes about the Baroque tendency towards the complex and towards hieroglyphics: “This happened in the Baroque. Externally and stylistically - in the extreme design of the typographic essay as in the overloaded metaphor - the written tends towards the image. There is no stronger contrast to the art symbol, the plastic symbol, the image of the organic totality, than this formless fragment that the allegorical writing image turns out to be. Here the Baroque shows itself as the sovereign opposite of classicism… »11 According to Benjamin, the classical monuments of art are characterized by symbolic beauty:“ Its symbolic beauty evaporates when the light of divine doctrine strikes it. The false skin of totality is extinguished. The form is annihilated, the parable dies, and the cosmos that was in it dries in. In the dry riddle that remains is an insight that is still understandable to the confused thinker. ”12

The Sad Allegor and the Patient Collector
In the American author Siri Hustvedt's new novel What I Loved (New York 2003), a friendship is portrayed between two Jewish men and their families, the painter William Wechsler and the art history professor Leo Hertzberg. The book is characterized by loss, dissolution, grief. The professor, who is the book's narrator, is burdened with grief, and an exponent of it
Benjamin called the allegorist, namely «the confused thinker». He has a drawer in the apartment where he collects fragments; these he pushes around and puts together into changing allegories, in a melancholy attempt to save his own past and not to lose his own losses. This is how the fictional art history professor expresses his relationship to the photographs, whose allegorical potential is emphatically pointed out by e.g. Craig Owens: "We were living in New York when my father found out that his family had been pushed onto a train for Auschwitz in June of 1944. They were all murdered. I keep their photographs in my drawer (…) The black-and-white figures of the photographs have to stand in place of my memory, and yet I have always felt that their unmarked graves became part of me. What was unwritten then is inscribed into what I call my self. ”13 Also for Leo Hertzberg, the allegory becomes an inscription, an epitaph. And as Walter Benjamin pointed out, the allegorist is behind the allegory, not psychological, but ontological ("what I call myself").

Andreas Heuch is a collector. He collects more, and much more systematically, than Professor Hertzberg. He collects i.a. a. books, and in the exhibition the books are collected in groups, so that their titles, readable on the back of the book, become stories. The collection principle for Heuch's book collection is a random connection, namely the occurrence of the word "man" in the title. This is partly a conceptual exercise, an examination of how often this word occurs in book titles, and what one can possibly read from it. But in this case it is a star example of an allegory, for the words become characteristics, which bind the unbound together. These stories, which are placed on their own shelves, spaced apart, become the visualization of their separation, and the book collection becomes an allegory composed of these pieces.
Allegories are always composed of pieces. Craig Owens believed that at the heart of the allegory lies "the atomizing, disjunctive principle", 14 and the allegory uses "accumulative strategies" and often consists of works "composed by the simple placement of" one thing after another "", 15 In addition to collect books, as a young boy Andreas Heuch collected plants, squeezed them (emptied them of organic life) and glued them into herbariums, side by side. He also has a collection of Japanese and Moroccan cigarette texts. These are now becoming old-fashioned, just like his telephone collection. He has saved such things from disappearing. Not only are old cigarettes reminiscent of death. Cigarette smoking could indeed harm health even before the warning was part of the boxes' inscriptions. But here the cigarettes are encapsulated in their boxes, dried out and unsuitable for stimulant inhalation. Heuch bought cigarette boxes and other things at flea markets, these allegory exchanges.
Andreas Heuch's collection is the beginning of a collection that will one day be part of a museum collection. In Heuch's collection, selected according to aesthetic and personal criteria, there are old telephones (in different colors), small frog sculptures, cake tins, touching small decorative bowls, retro lamps and artificial flower arrangements. And it is striking how important language is in Heuch's collection of inscriptions: Inscription and inscription - the inscription as an extravagant image.

The allegory wants to preserve the past. Embalming, encapsulation, wrapping, storage, drying, are all preparations that the allegory benefits from. At Andreas Heuch, we often see how his installations are given the form of small table covers, which are protected by a plastic dome. This is reminiscent of science fiction films' attempts to protect something, give it a stable environment, so that it can be launched in the future. Placing the collection in capsules shows a conservation impulse. The synthetic topographies are given a pure biosphere.

The break with the continuity of history - Opening of the circle
At the same time, this conservation impulse reveals the collapse of the notion of a continuous movement, as history is usually understood. History philosopher Fredric Jameson criticizes the postmodern situation for forgetting a dialectical, continuous course of time and turning the past into images, which are consumed in the present. The diachronic (along the time axis) loses in favor of the synchronous (the contemporary which, independently of and broken up from the time and place of origin, can be seen side by side with something else). The past becomes detached fragments and we enjoy them in nostalgia.16

There are in our culture in particular two models for something time-continuous. One is, of course, the messianic understanding of time, in which the world moves forward in an appropriate direction. Marxism is a dialectical and materialistic version of this linear history of salvation. The second is the circle of repetition, the image of eternal return, where each end gives a new beginning. It is not for nothing that love, in the Christian and romantic bottleneck, can be understood as a circle, as something lasting and enduring, something that moves, but that holds two together as one. The romantic love is a physical manifestation of the unrequited and unconditional love God feels for people and people feel for God. Paradise will be a state where conflict will cease and where the lion and the lamb will not covet or fear each other. The garden Bacchuspokalens Amor strikes its circle, can very well be interpreted as a hortus conclusus, the well-established way of making pictures of Paradise.

If the basis of the allegorical impulse is the melancholic's grief that wholeness and totality are split and the circle broken, the Christian doctrine of love becomes a counterweight. In Christian mysticism it is told about the experience of togetherness, duality that ceases, contradictions that are reconciled and the fragmented that merges with the formation of a new unity. In the secular world - of which art history is a part - the development has gone in the direction that the experience of division has been strengthened, fragmentation increased and melancholy increased. The "age of anxiety" is also marked by the loss of meaning. The "mental disorders" are the political media expression that integrated personalities are broken up or never formed, and that experienced balance is shaken.

The simulated, synthetic world of splendor the image media gives us is a consolation, albeit a poor one. But one must be aware that the unity that is formed in the realization of our mass media pleasure disease, is only seemingly holistic, coherent and whole. It can be deconstructed as quickly as a screen image resolves into enlarged pixelated chunks.

The story and the stories
Based on Siri Hustvedt's Jewish art historian, who had all the world's historical (holocaust) and biographical (son Matt's death) reasons to look for a meaning to life and for the love for his wife Erica that threatens to end, we see that Heuchs installation in Drammens Museum refers to the same duality. Namely, the duality between his own collection and its relationship to his ancestors on the one hand, and on the other History itself, exemplified by the reconstruction of the 1760s local artefact splendor that Drammens Museum has given an official form in the Nøstetangen room. In allegorical art of the type Heuch makes, there will always be an opinion that is only his, but since he works in a postmodern tradition, we can by looking for references in each part and in the relationship between them look for opinions. One type of meaning that emerges in any case is the impossibility of preserving the past in its holistic fullness. For the story itself is too big, heavy and very much to be preserved. The meaning of most allegories is i.a. that they show the distance to the past they are trying to save.

This realization connected to the loss of a golden cultural past, gives the basic mood of the 20th century's perhaps most significant English-language poem, namely TS Eliot's The Waste Land (1922). This poem casts shadows of explanation far into the century we have just lived through. In this poem we are presented with strong images, and what Like the Baroque allegorist was so concerned with, is found again in the learned Eliot's poetry:

«That corpse you planted last year in your garden,
«Has it started to sprout? Will it bloom this year?
«Or has the sudden frost disturbed its bed?
«Oh keep the dog far hence, that's friend to men,
«Or with his nails he'll dig it up again! 17

The golden past is, of course, an added meaning, a retrospectively created whole about a past that has been lost and which is being reconstructed as something holistic and good. It is as false a consolation as the best TV picture and the "totality" of the constellations. And is not the notion of love as something infinite, something boundless, of the same nature as all our ideas that something should be whole, that two should be able to become one? Modernism in art had both a branch that sought this whole in the pure, abstract visual art, at the same time as in Dadaism and parts of modernist poetry was based on the experience of a fragmented reality. One of the reasons why The Waste Land is so significant is that it is forged together (with the help of Ezra Pound) into a dictatorial whole consisting of verbal and ideological pieces, while it is these pieces' lack of stable meaning contact that sets the basic mood for the experience of goldness the poem's title refers to. For TS Eliot, the feeling of the world as too fragmented and meaning-breaking was resolved by finding a religious belief. And at the last end of his long writing is the second great work in his production, namely the poetry cycle Four Quartets (1944). The ending of the poem - which is also an allegory of his family's history and transatlantic journey and his path to faith - is memorable. With an experience taken straight out of the mystery, he created the lines:

What we call the beginning is often the end
And to make an end is to make a beginning.
The end is where we start from.

Every phrase and every sentence is an end and a beginning,
Every poem an epitaph

And all shall be well and
All manner of thing shall be well
When the tongues of flame are in-folded
Into the crowned knot of fire
And the fire and the rose are one.18

There is a strange kinship here between the 1760s Norwegian love circle, the one that is drawn without beginning and end, or where all points are both a beginning and an end - and the poet's image of religious love, the one who makes every attempt to find one end to a new beginning. 

The new painting - Matrix pictures
On the new floors of the Department of Chemistry at the University of Cambridge, a pattern reminiscent of atomic models or "clusters" of spheres / circles that grow into increasingly complex patterns has been added to the materials marmoleum and artoleum sierra19. This model logic of the natural sciences, the flow charts of the flow charts or the organic or crystalline growth cultures of the cell structures, lies behind the way Heuch works in his wall and floor paintings. This shows a new type of pictorial logic.20 The forms are hybrids, combinations of crystalline structures and biological forms. In painted form, these become abstractions, but abstractions that express a logic for "reading" or experience of the painting, which is based on the role models that have just been mentioned. Such paintings are scanned sideways and in the surface and lines, stays, tentacles and shots are followed; the molds grow outwards and lay under canvas areas. One does not experience such paintings as fixed still images with the illusion of calm depth; one must find the rhythm and the pictorial growth logic in them, and then let the eye follow the directions thus designated.

The first time I perceived that a new pictorial language was in the pipeline was in the early 1990s, when new talents began to emerge from the sculpture department at Yale University. One of these, Michael Joaquin Gray, worked on computer-generated images of something reminiscent of organic forms. It looked both natural and artificial, both fragile, transparent and rubbery. The figures looked like articulated sea anemones. The fact that something forms shape in that a joint, or a closed ball / bladder grows out of the previous one and lies one after the other like the eggs in a roe sack, creates a new type of visual code. Anyone who has watched nature programs on TV or followed such a fairly modern science teaching in school, knows the basis of this code. In our context, it is interesting to note that this method of composition - which is well prevalent in today's international art - is an addition method. It consists of elements that are put together with a clear boundary between them. It is a shape structure that is characterized by pieces, fractures and composition. This is something that, according to Craig Owens, characterizes the allegory. The term "next-door-ness" is often used about the metonymy. There should be little doubt that it is this form structure, which together with the computer image and the pixels of the digital image, has given impetus to the picturesque form question of an artist like Andreas Heuch. In the paintings there is often a gradation from lighter to darker, but it is not smooth, it is articulated like that of an armadillo.
For Heuch knows as a young postmodern artist, raised with letters, pixels and virtual space models, that everything we experience as an image can be decoded and turned into digitally produced and transferable information. The visual programs in computer technology - before the plasma screens make their entrance and will lead developments into an even more fluid and "seamless" emotional register - have a formidable ability to synthesize into recognizable images and patterns, which are basically broken down into clearly separated units.

In this installation we see two aspects of Heuch's work, which he admittedly often combines, but which there is still reason to distinguish between in a text: the paintings and the presentation of the collection of objects. As I said, the painting bears a certain imprint of graphic design, and there is perhaps no coincidence, since Heuch began to study graphic design. As a young contemporary artist, he wanders just as seamlessly through the various media, as he operates with clear boundaries, cuts and additions in his often staccato pictorial style. Heuch and his generation ignore through an elegant transcendence the classic barriers between really pure and exalted art (art proper) and all the commercially and practically infamous adjacent glories such as design, entertainment culture, advertising and crafts (art as craft).

There are also art historical references and role models here. For the hard edge painting of the 1960s operated with sharp edges and a graphically clear account of light-shadow grading in the form of clearly demarcated and stepped color and light shifts. This could be seen in the sweep of the psychedelic painters, in the use of contour, or in the form of stripe images, whether these were op art and played on the eye's limits of experience, or they were pure, decorative stripe patterns, as we saw them in painting, textile design, glass, clothes. This 1960s trend has obviously had a strong return in the international art of the 1990s, here at home most clearly exemplified by Torbjørn Sørensen's paintings (and other practitioners of designer abstractions). The mentioned type of 1960s painting also has another characteristic that Heuch and his contemporaries make use of, and that is the automaticity of following a form with a superficial form, which in the same breadth gives itself. Such images have curved lines, but in principle they are as cool and rule-based as Frank Stella's important straight-line striped images (shaped canvases) in black, silver or bronze from the early 1960s. There are also obvious parallels in camouflage patterns (utilized for "abstract paintings" by Andy Warhol), which are effective and visually economical ways to create a symbol of forest and scrub. We also know a more obscure, but effective, model for the staircase painting in Hans Arp's (1887-1966) Dadaist wall reliefs.
  In the floor and wall painting of this exhibition, there is a synthetic-organic pattern reminiscent of the giraffe's fur, and a similar natural pattern formed in foam and bubbling liquids. Here the pattern appears in three media. As hand-painted paperwork, sensitively executed and carefully framed on the wall, as directly painted floor and wall painting, and as data-defined and automatically cut foil.

There are also examples in Norway of Heuch's stair tread painting and the curved matrix painting which is painted by hand, but is done coolly and often with the help of assistants. An important role model is of course Ole Jørgen Ness. But it is especially internationally two painters who have developed a characteristic design language based on such structures, namely German Peter Zimmermann and American Alexander Ross. Professor Robert Storr (New York University) has recently published a study of Alexander Ross' pictorial idiom. Storr starts the essay "The Art of Alexander Ross, Warts and All", with: "There is a place on the continuum of visual experience where the distinction between natural and geometric forms dissolve." He describes in a condensed academic way some of what I have described above with the words: «Thanks to saturation advertising,« matrix »is now a universal buzzword for the digital template in which all mathematical conflicts and mutations of given reality occur» .21 «Matrix »Is here a digital stencil through which reality emerges. And it is the properties of this matrix that undermine the clear distinctions in that the stencil becomes the visually dominant shape. Robert Storr also links this digital template to the idea of growth. He believes that Ross' imagery has a tendency to be "inherently exfoliating" 22 and he writes about some of the forms that they show an "aberrant and excessive fertility". means that a genetic trait changes, becomes something else (and is included in the genetic material). This analysis fits perfectly with Andreas Heuch's painting, and the gradation itself - with its parallel to topographical representations or maps with elevation gradation shown as plotted elevations - is described by Professor Storr: "Thus, for example, one of Ross'" green giants "may be patterned like a topographical map, with a ready discernible network of hard-edge lozenges filled with strictly graduating values of a single hue that charts the ins and outs of his forms… »24

The Postmodern Museum
Every museum presentation is an attempt to strike a whole circle that shows the chronology in the course of history and that shows things in an interpreted context. In Nøstetangenrommet there is a dim but neutral lighting. That even museum presentations are fleeting, and will have to change, is evidenced by the feature of Andreas Heuch's red, slightly lukewarm table lamp, and the yellow-orange football lamp. The football lamp is a stand-in for the moon ("moonlight lamp"). These lamps give a light that seems foreign in this room. They are of a newer - but not entirely new - and more popular time. They clearly interfere with the neutral lighting, which Carl Horst would call "the peace and order of artistic law". Besides the fact that this mild rebellion gives an atmosphere the room has not had, it makes us aware that the ordinary lighting will also one day seem old-fashioned and characterized by the tastes and attitudes of its time.

The Dutch professor Eric Kettelar believes that every historical reconstruction and every museum presentation is subject to a "visible, invisible dialectics". It simply means that one must play out the visible fragments, the objects, the written sources we are sitting on with an awareness that between these elements there are large invisible fields. It would be wrong to underestimate these. Therefore, allegory also becomes the postmodern museum's most compliant method. It is Drammens Museum that has put the name Bacchuspokalen on the Bacchuspokalen! It has never stood in such a stand as in this exhibition, but it has also never stood in such a stand we bought for the new assembly in 2001. We do not know exactly on what occasions the trophy was used or what tasted of the wine in it, or what was said as it went around. This is invisible to us, and with a melancholy magnanimity we must realize that much of it will remain invisible.

Is there then no difference between the allegory Drammens Museum presents in its Nøstetangenrom and Andreas Heuch's current? A strict postmodernist would probably say no. But it is still a distinction. As allegorical postmodern art, Heuch's installation is characterized by what Craig Owens calls "Site specific works are impermanent (…) In this, the site specific work becomes an emblem of transcience." 25 Of course, the rigidity of allegory is a sign of transience, a resistance to and encapsulation of the transient in the allegorical formulation. Yes, but all these attempts are perishable. What makes Andreas Heuch's allegory special is that it provides a conscious artistic formulation. He plays with absolute ear out dried flowers against stylized painted flowers on more than 200-year-old Drammens faience and he creates unexpected beauty by putting small, contemporary glass objects into direct dialogue with the museum objects. An 18th century chandelier is accompanied by slightly old-fashioned lamps and light bulbs. The shape of the conch in his kitsch lamp and in the ear bone of a whale is found in stylized form in blue-painted Rococo decoration and in engraved cartoons. The stylized in the old decor finds its echo in equally stiff and obviously dead (dried or in plastic) flowers in vases or laid out flat-pressed. The work itself here is a text, and the meaning of the allegory is found in all the meetings: those meetings that double through equality and those that break through thought-provoking contrast. The symmetry of the Baroque and the curved asymmetry of the Rococo, both find their doublings in Heuch's collection and picturesque installation. Two ears put together like a butterfly, not only find their echo in the magnificent butterfly buckle on a serving tray, in the symmetrical arches of an earthenware mug, in two jugs set up symmetrically back to back; they are also seen in the letter picture on the ECHO cigarette pack!

(It is not surprising that the AIDS epidemic of the 1980s and 1990s - and which hit the art world very hard - gave impetus to allegorical mourning. Craig Owens himself died at the age of 39 of complications that followed AIDS. The Painter Ross Bleckner, who witnessed, but survived, the epidemic, created a series of memorial images more than ten years ago, they were given emblematic shape, they are minor-tuned, they have an echo of baroque cartridges, trophies and coats of arms and they have inscriptions. dead: magnificent memorial plaques.One of the pictures has painted numbers and the title «8.122 + as of January 1986».

In parts of Andreas Heuch's installation, we are reminded of grief: there may be glass shapes resting like giant, frozen tears on a bed of white satin; it may be the dried flowers, as if left on the graveyard. Or it could be something reminiscent of death and attack, like the hawk, like stuffed, stiffly guarding the museum room.
That the Bacchus trophy's world of life is also gone, we can usually sense by seeing how the skin of the Nøstetangen trophies disappears into the depths of the mirror in the other showcases. By wrapping it in a yellow-white-orange foil, caught in a synthetic, frothy net, Andreas Heuch draws it to our time and puts it before our eyes right now, as if art - like Love - has no End .)

There is only one degree difference between Heuch's collection and the presentation of it and the Nøstetangen room, and it is this delay that gives the installation its excitement. But even though Drammens Museum conducts scientific research on its collection and presents the objects with texts that give them a place in a historical course, we must realize that our permanent collection is not endlessly installed either. There is a difference of two months and ten years, and there is a difference between an artist's collection (Wunderkammer) and an entire museum's collection. But allegorical representations are the two parts of this space, as it appears as one between October 23 and December 21, 2003.

For Rainer Maria Rilke, the attempt to portray a whole as a constellation became something he could not even fully believe in himself; for Eliot, the whole became a mysterious union of fire that circles in and becomes one with a ball / bud of a rose; for Professor Leo Hertzberg a drawer with pictures and random but meaningful fragments that form the epitaph over the losses of his life; for HG Köhler and the rococo cartouche a circle, a circle that we do not think can be without end, since the end of Amorinen is indeed there. And the shift: Love has no end, is in itself a fragment of language, it is as Eliot wrote in 1941, "Every phrase and every sentence is an end and a beginning, / Every poem an epitaph." Every sentence, every poem, every installation, every historical museum presentation is - also - an epitaph. - So the very phrase Love has no End, constitutes in itself an end.

1. Quoted from Walter Benjamin, The Origins of the German Mourning Game,
(1928), Oslo 1994, p.185

2. Paul de Man, Allegories of Reading, New Haven and London, 1979, pp.51-52.

3 Walter Benjamin, The Origin of the German Mourning Game (1928), in Norwegian 1994, quoted from Paxboken, pp.231-232

4. Ibid. p.232

5. Craig Owens, «The Allegorical Impulse: Toward a Theory of Postmodernism, (1980), quoted from Craig Owens, Beyond Recognition, Representation, Power and Culture, Los Angeles and London, 1992, paperback edition from 1994, page 52

6. Ibid. s.53

7. Ibid. s.54

8. Ibid. p.64

9. Benjamin quoted by Owens, Ibid. p.55

10. Ibid p.60

11. Benjamin, The Origin of the German Mourning Game, p.184

12 Ibid.s.184 

13. Siri Hustvedt, What I Loved, 2003, quoted from the English edition, London 2003, p.22

14. Ibid. p.61

15. Ibid. p.58

16. This is discussed in Fredric Jameson, Postmodernism or, The Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism, Duke University Press, 1991

17. TS Eliot, The Waste Land, (1922), quoted from TS Eliot, The Waste Land and Other Poems, London 1940, third paper back reprint 1973, p.29

18. TSEliot, Four Quartets, (1935-41, first published together in 1944). Quoted from the ninth edition of the paper back edition from 1959, (1976), p.58-59

19. Interior Designers Kay Snowdon Design

20. (In parentheses noted, an interesting structural resemblance can be added to this link of baroque and rock cocoon patterns with today's digitized imagery. Ole Jørgen Ness' use of the iris effect in paintings is often linked to works reminiscent of stylized flames and tattoo patterns, and what is well the tattoo if not a popular and simplistic expression of the Rococo cartoons, with inscriptions and all. - Today's winding painting patterns are dense with historical references. the youthful and rut elegance of the turn of the last century, we find this lushness again in today's biomorphically digitized stencil edition.)

21. Artforum, New York, September 2003, p.185

22. Ibid. p.186

23. Ibid. p.251

24. Ibid. p.187

25. Ibid. p.56

Åsmund Thorkildsen

Museum director

Monday to Friday 11.00 - 15.00

Wednesday 11.00 – 18.00

Saturday 11.00 – 16.00 (free admission)

Sunday 11.00 – 16.00