Transfer Revisited I + II
“Refers to a project that Werner Trotter and I started in the early 1980s (called “Transfer-Malerei”) as a direct response to an exhibit of the Dante Cycle by Robert Rauschenberg at the Kunsthalle in Tübingen, my hometown.
It marks our first true collaboration where both parties engage in an open exchange without words. A visual dialogue of action and response, adding and subtracting, “speaking” and listening, to whatever appears before us, without any interference from the language of words.
Since then, Werner has revisited the subject, first cataloguing/reproducing the entire image and then – as he often does in his own photographic work – getting closer in the search of new openings and new meaning.
He then sent me his findings “Transfer Revisited I” and I reworked them in my way. “Transfer Revisited II” are the result of that.
My first response was that the images felt totally outdated, sexist and racist even. But then, they are true representations of that time, as those images appeared in any glossy magazines around the world. Those were our sources, our takeoff, to tell our story.
I have changed my mind and accept them not just as a sentimental memory but a critical revisiting of the past, of my beginnings.
The images that became the origins of these works, if they still existed, certainly wouldn’t speak to us in the same way now as they did then.
What grows out of that project we will see.
Maybe a revisiting of the revisit.
Inevitably, everything that was is. Whether we like it or not. How we deal with it matters.”
Bernd Haussmann, June 2019