Detlef Hartung – Georg Trenz



public art






Halle 10, Clouth Areal,
Cologne Nippes





A just seemingly contradictory underlying theme of human existence, its continuity in space and time as well as its ongoing transformation is reflected in the character of the language. The continuous progress of uniform procedures and processes makes it difficult to detect changes. But each word of a language as a tool of knowledge is subject to a permanent connotative change of meaning. Just its typographic representation, its position in space and the time of its use modifies and interprets a word. The work shows these continuum elasticity and modification of language as under laboratory conditions and sends a vocabulary of 1000 words on a journey through a space. (A basic vocabulary of 1000 words is, after Lewankowski, sufficient to understand about 80% of German texts). The result is a universe of language, a space–time kontiuum of language in which every word in form and content is subject to constant change.


Introduction by Prof. Res Ingold
Large spaces are often a challenge for artists in which they fail. Volume management requires not only artistic intuition and inspiration, but also experience and calculation, or luck. Here and now everything comes together, Georg Trenz and Detlef Hartung have created a space–related work one has to see, in order to understand it, and we are fortunate to experience this space. The Hall 10 is immersed in a magical atmosphere. Light flakes like snow flurries. To the hum of the cooling fans. The installation is attractive and confusing, one is attracted by the fleeting moments and notes by surprise that they inevitably disappear. It is an immense quantity of impressions of light and words that have very specific triggers. What we have here is an installation of lighting and mental game – from illumination and illusion. We are located in the middle of a play full of wit and meaning, but far from rhetorical figure with a sense of humor, modifying of language or ambiguity, it is not a pun, limerick or spoonerism. The installation shows us rather a glimpse into the microcosm of the “digital shadow” and gives us an idea of the infinite data streams on the Internet, opens our way into the media of communications universe. It is an installation as an unbound book without lines firmly.




To be seen are words, elemental parts of ordinary language as graphic photographs. The white, pure light the of the projectorlamp passes through the black masks of the slides and appears on walls and ceilings as text. It is a with minimal means realized, comprehensive dynamic semantic lure. On display are the 1000 most frequently used words of the German colloquial language, according to sources, educational materials and consumer analysis.
The concentration begins in the detail and runs consistently through all areas of the installation. The minimal layout design and typography is reduced for optimal readability. There are only capital letters in meaningful key sequence, no composition variations, no mirror writing, either in italics or Spanish. No digital noises disturb the perception, that old analogue light lamps to create a uniform, regular structure and order. It would work in English.
The squeezed basic vocabulary has on 32 projectors and slides , 16 of them rotate on two projector–carousels with calm prevailing metering, others take static images. The architecture throws the light back so that reflections describe different speeds. In the refracted one recognizes the potential importance of the light game. If a concept is slowly and quickly disappears or rapidly approaches breaking over the edge and then slowly dissolves, one can trace the transformation of the signified and vivid description and see how they affect the image and texture. The traces of title and the experience of meanings intermingle.





The words are first only letter sequences and then get a meaning. According to the theory of meaning, semantics, linguistic units are words, symbols or codes, generally understandable terms or representations, projections, and therefore not the thing signified itself. For is a chair a chair, or how that was once under Josef Kosuth? The unthinking use of signifiers allows us to quickly and simultaneously communicate on different levels, such as the simultaneous phone calls, smoking, flirting when driving.
What can be the aesthetic function of this synchronous labyrinth is left to the viewer, there is no mandatory instruction to get started. You can abandon yourself to the blizzard of word fragments and the d istortion and stunting of the graphic labels, it is not boring, because the constellation is not repeated from one angle so quickly.
There is no installation of concrete poetry, but clearly a space–and context–sensitive, visual space experiment with the elements of light, text, movement and repetition. A space–time continuum in the change of perception by the visitor who walks through the halls. Movement creates change in the position and thus the perception. A change in perception and perceptual difference creates new meaning by context, new insights.
The word distortions in Hall 10 are also a small reference to the former rubber plant, the elasticity will be here within the motion, the dynamic reflection. But that’s not all. If an APPLE follows a SOAP and SHE IS LOOKING FOR LAND — then is she looking for land or is someone desiring for land? Or if the DOG by the TABLE through GLASS in rapid succession BLUE, what happens exactly in this corner of the table and the animal? If you look at it carefully, the concrete concept evokes an idea chain, the apple might be a Boskopp or Granny Smith, according to socialization, experience, or preferences, the dog may be red and wags its tail, or a German shepherd dog with hanging ears, or the rhythm drives the last linear thoughts to the ground. The terms trigger pictures that lie very individual in the minds of the readers. While we see all the same word, but follow our own highly individual inclinations and put different emphases. We are not just building another word sequences and associate other images, objects and actions, but also design others moods and atmospheres. It’s like reading, only the imagining of the content triggers the intellectual stimulus.
Have fun exploring!
Cologne, Nov. 2009, Res Ingold