Rebekka Löffler’s solo exhibition TRANSMISSIONS at KNUST KUNZ Gallery Editions combines selected paintings and drawings from two projects.
Her project from 2021 deals with ideas about the processing and transmission of signals in the technical and digital field. It leads to thoughts about the interconnectedness of all aspects of life on earth. Each linkage serves the purpose of transmitting information, including those related to reproduction, nutrition, and the protection as well as preservation of life. The resulting mutual dependency and living with nature as well as other beings denoted the starting point for her second project that followed in 2022.
Rebekka Löffler’s 2021 project resulted in three large-format paintings titled ‘Transmitter’, ‘Transponder’, and ‘Transformers’. These reflect the tension between human experience as well as language, and the constant fast flow of information in an information technology-based society, stitched together by global networking and communications. The natural human communication via the senses and language gets transferred into complex formulas in the technical and scientific field and, with help of technical means, abstracted and alienated. Letters become signs, formulas, signals, and waves. They get encrypted and decrypted.
The paintings do not depict any technical detail. However, some pictorial elements are inspired by forms and components of technical devices or drawings, others by transmission paths via wires, cables, or by measurement diagrams that show waves or radiation or the like. Other elements should remind of simplified or universal characters of a handwriting or phonetic symbols.
The following project from 2022 is based on readings by Bruno Latour and Donna Haraway. These have inspired four paintings, which are titled ‘Individuals, Kindred Spirits and Mutants’, ‘Holobiont’, ‘Symbiosis I’, and ‘Symbiosis II’. Moreover, Rebekka Löffler created five drawings, titled ‘Sympoiesis I’, ‘Sympoiesis II’, ‘Sympoiesis III’, ‘Sympoiesis IV’, and ‘Alle Movement Starts on Earth’.
Taking the climate crisis and mass extinction into consideration, both authors provide answers to the question of how humans can transform and recontextualize themselves on Planet Earth in order to make life on our planet possible in the future as well. According to this, the survival of future generations is only feasible if humans seriously accept their dependence on their linkages to the earth and other human and non-human beings, and a rethinking takes place. This results in questions of production, both as regards reproduction, and with respect to new linkages of different species. Donna Haraway, in particular, gives an answer. According to her, ‘everything is connected to something’, and ‘nothing is really autopoietic or self-organizing’. She uses ‘Sympoiesis’ as a term for ‘complex, dynamic, responsive [...] systems’ . The word stands for ‘making-with’, ‘becoming-with’, and ‘worlding-with’ companion species. In this, different forms of cohabitation of individuals of different species in dependency for their mutual benefit are mentioned, as in symbiosis, and also the concept of the ‘holobiont’, a complex organism composed of different living beings.
These concepts were the core ideas for the abovementioned paintings and drawings. The aim was not to represent the outer form of humans or the worlds of plants or animals, but to depict life as such, as is it is inherent in every living being. In order to achieve this, Rebekka Löffler decided to use forms reminding us of flowers or plants as the core element of the paintings. They are a further development of the artist’s vocabulary of forms from recent years. The single elements are a build-up of several leaf-like forms, which are mostly arranged around a centre, an origin. In the paintings, they get linked by different line patterns, which can be seen as diverse circuits or interconnections that link living beings to all life on earth. The works also address growth, movement, and reproduction as specific characteristics of life. These are represented, in particular, through the recombination, repetition, and linking of different elements.