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Two trucs from the history of painting, and, to an extent, from the history of representation at large:
One – repoussoir.
A device employed in landscape painting; usually the depiction of objects, figures, or architectural elements – a succession of before and behind – for the purpose of giving depth to the depicted landscape, which might otherwise not decipher properly in spatial terms.
Two – mise-en-abyme.
A procedure by which elements within the realm of representation or depiction reiterate elements that occur on the level of form and/or medium; such as paintings or canvases within a painting, or a play within a play.
A repoussoir creates depth, it generates (pictorial) space. A mise-en-abyme opens the abyss of differential auto-contextualisation.
It’s easy to see why, when looking at åyr’s new productions, one would first tend to think of the latter strategy. Yet, this might be misleading. It might make more sense to think about these works, which, through architecturally informed digital rendering and imaging techniques, fold (depictions of) pictorial art (e.g. Twombly), design (the Rick Owens bed, for instance), decoration (the Dyptique candle) and the architectural production of interiors into one another, as strange types of repoussoirs, as push backs.
The procedures witnessed here have more to do with creating a new sort depth, rather than with investigating the difference and connection between context and content. Or, with an investigating of questions of mediality altogether. And, if one cares to raise the question of digitality here, it should have anything to do with how one makes interiors through pushing into depth, rather than through enclosing spaces.
It’s the push back with which åyr creates space for a pavilion that shall remain nameless.
— Philipp Ekardt
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