Carlos Casas, Thomas Köner: Ways to Nowhere

The most recent series of videos by Thomas Köner, whose first chapter, "Pneuma Monoxyd", was presented for the first time in 2007, was recently completed by the German artist, after the creation (at the beginning of this year) of "Pasajeros Peregrinos Pilotos", with "Terrain vague", realized through the processing of material shot in Tokyo. This work will be premiered by e/static on Saturday 8th November 2008 in the blank exhibition space, as a part of "Ways to Nowhere", along with several videos by Carlos Casas from his Siberian Fieldworks of 2007, while hitherto unpublished prints have been obtained from another episode of the same series, "Ice Edge".
Thomas Köner (Bochum, 1966) can be defined as a visionary artist who works on images of the so-called real world, or of urban everyday life, often degraded or reduced to indistinct mediocrity (as in the three works of the "Peripheriques" series of 2005-06), images that he records in different places scattered around the planet, and from which he extracts a sort of substratum, an occult and transcendent dimension, in the form of glooming, splitting or shattering of the forms' integrity, through a disintegration of the very notion of time. His procedure has various aspects in common with the one used by Caspar David Friedrich, who was also German, like him, and who was able to detect and therefore to reveal, through the contemplation of the landscape, traces of the divine. Two artists who, separated from one another by almost two hundred years, continuously look to the surrounding environment for elements that make it possible for them to live ecstatic experiences, which can be shared, even though subsequently, by those who are able to establish a non-superficial contact with their work.
Carlos Casas (Barcelona, 1974) always shoots his videos in places which are far away from the so-called centre (or the so-called centres) of the world, in Patagonia, Uzbekistan and Siberia. His approach is candid and open-minded, without preconceptions, so as to be able to capture, in the very instant they take place, moments of transcendence in the gestures of a seal-hunter, of a worker in a remote Patagonian land or of a fisherman at lake Aral. Casas, unlike Köner, doesn't 'process' his material with any software, preferring the naked objectivity of the footage, which reflects back to us his own experience on site without practically any mediation. And it is easy to identify with him, while he is on the Siberian 'pack ice', enraptured as he watches millenary gestures, carried out in silence before a boundless, desolate nature, as if performing a rite. Gestures which, although recognizable to us as human, we are almost unable to understand, and perhaps for this very reason, are able to fascinate us and take us to an unknown dimension, where it can become difficult, for the limited time of the screening, to even recognize ourselves. Probably Casas experimented something similar while shooting "Ice Edge", from which some images were extracted, which are, in turn, incidentally reminiscent of some famous paintings by Friedrich. Men who have their backs to us, as they scan the empty and boundless landscape, searching for the animal that they are destined to kill, awaiting the event that will guarantee them the complete perception of their own existence and its justification.
As a completion to "Ways to Nowhere", the non-story, or the many possible stories, that seem likely to happen, contained in the work "Nel bosco" (In the wood), a 'ghost track' that we decided to include because emblematic, for it represents well one of those journeys towards a non-place where we sometimes happen to find ourselves, a place, nonetheless, of revelation and instantaneous and ephemeral clarity. The latter elements define and motivate, as essential data, the research of these authors.

Carlos Casas
Thomas Köner
8 11 08 - 22 11 08
blank, via Reggio 27, Torino
Realization curated by: 
Carlo Fossati per e/static
Saturday November 1 2008, 9.30 pm
Opening days and times: 
Wed. - Sat. 16 - 19.30


Fieldworks, by Carlos Casas27.85 KB
Pneuma Monoxyd, by Thomas Köner37.29 KB
No where, by Carlo Fossati25.23 KB