Emil Holmer: Parasites and Diagramme

Texts (English) by Marcus Steinweg, Daniel Werkmäster
48 p with 30 coloured illustrations
210 x 300 mm, softcover

ISBN 978-3-86442-063-4

(out of print)

Full Frontal Painting

Emil Holmer was born in 1975 in Karlstad, Sweden, but for the last decade has lived and worked in the Neukölln district of Berlin. It is thus no surprise that his work reflects a strong urban influence, including such elements as the accidental collages of torn-down wall posters or graffiti, both the political and the prosaic. »Mass culture is a material as well as a field of investigation for me,« says Holmer, »it’s not a way to create an identity for myself. I am attracted to the tension between high and low, insofar as something like that exists today. I don’t believe those things are a given, but rather, it is the job of the artist to define and formulate them. That is what painting is to me, a ›way to work at the root of things.‹« But it is not just that, of course. And it’s not by chance that the young Berlin philosopher Marcus Steinweg, in his essay for Holmer’s first publication, addresses the theme of painting overcoming death, whereby he reflects Louise Bourgeois’ credo that »art is about life« with Jacques Lacan’s zero point, absolute reality. There it also makes sense that Holmer formats his paintings in such large dimensions – two to three meters -- which reflect not only his experience of the urban space, but also create an experiential space into which the observer can actually step. »My engagement of painting is also a questioning of painting,« says Holmer, »a question of what I can do with painting today. A lot of the energy in the paintings derives from that question. At the same time I am very focused on the possibilities of painting as a medium. Painting is in any case connected to joy and lust. And I like to think that it has the possibility to be humorous, problematical, sensual and visceral at the same time.«