Christian Lemmerz’s VR work TRAUM (2018) materialises the tragic as a virtual space, using the aesthetics of hyper realistic video games to create a Freudian nightmare. Users find themselves in a steel cell, that flits from total smoke-filled darkness to dim illumination. Snakes slowly slither into the space, multiplying in number as they turn on the viewer. Fear, helplessness and vulnerability materialise as a paralysing force that echoes the oppressive, prison-like surroundings. The medium offers agency only to strip it away, creating feelings of entrapment and mounting claustrophobia.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Christian Lemmerz was born in Germany in 1959. Today he lives and works in Denmark and Italy. From 1978 to 1982, he studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Carrara, Italy, and from 1983 to 1988 at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen. Lemmerz expresses himself in a variety of media, from film, performance, sculpture, drawing, painting, to installation works. Lemmerz has explored highly unconventional materials, such as his early organic sculptures made of margarine, or a work consisting of slaughtered pigs exhibited in glass cases. He also works with traditional materials, ranging from bronze to marble. Many of Lemmerz’s works focus on taboo-related themes, taken from contemporary, as well as historical events, where suffering, death, identity, and existence are central themes. The human body and the medium of sculpture have been particularly important to Lemmerz’s work, enabling the viewer to become an active participant. Lemmerz has had major solo exhibitions at Randers Art Museum (Denmark), SMK, National Gallery of Denmark, Aros (Aarhus Art Museum, Denmark), Cisternerne (Copenhagen, Denmark), and has exhibited in Stavanger, Beijing, New York and Sao Paulo.
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