In »Mental Diary« six artists from different generations reflect on their everyday lives in photographs, drawings, paintings, and films. Subjective observations and experiences are captured and archived in a range of different positions and transposed into individual artistic vocabularies. Through this interaction between »I« and the »world«, between individual perceptions and external reality, the exhibition presents different forms of engaging in and recording daily routine. These range from autobiographically intoned attempts to de-fine a given place or time—in which personal identity is negotiated through ordinary situations—to momentary impressions offering a view and commen-tary on a contemporary political, social, or cultural condition.
In the 1980s Sol LeWitt (*1928 in Hartford, USA / †2007 in New York) created a self-portrait by assembling photographs of the objects surrounding him in his home and studio; his artist book Autobiography (1980) is a 128-page typologi-cal archive of photographs that catalogue his immediate environment. LeWitt uses photography as a medium for a kind of stocktaking. The stringent formalism and serial organization of this work is also a reflection of his conceptual under-standing of art.
Like the work of LeWitt, the diary films of Jonas Mekas (*1922 in Biržai, Lithua-nia, lives in New York) function as key reference works that are reexamined in the context of the exhibition. Mekas is one of the most influential figures in twentieth-century experimental film. His film As I was moving ahead occasionally I saw brief glimpses of beauty (2000) is paradigmatic of his work, offering a cutback to the erratic, fragmentary memories of an over eighty-year-old artist, who has assem-bled this immediate visual documentation gathered with a hand-held camera over a period of almost 30 years into intuitive narratives—producing moments of fleet-ing beauty in the process.
The natural fusion of art and life also characterizes the paintings of Dietmar Lutz (*1968 in Ellwangen, lives in Düsseldorf). With the direct gaze of the flaneur, Lutz skillfully uses rapid strokes of the paintbrush to capture impressions of his social surroundings, studio, apartment, and travels on canvas. The artist produces meta-phorical snapshots of private realms. At the same time, his paintings are insightful observations that draw on art historical references and ultimately reflect on his own role in the world.
In his sharp-witted, anarchistic drawings made with an economy of line, Dan Perjovschi (*1961 in Sibiu, Romania) comments on random encounters and con-temporary events in local and international (cultural) politics. Using a range of humorous intonations, the painter reduces complex thoughts and perceptions to distilled visual commentaries, which he first recorded in notebooks and then trans-ferred to the walls of the Kunstverein.
The photographs of Ketuta Alexi-Meskhishvili (*1979 in Tiflis, Georgia, lives in Berlin) combine images from public and private contexts. The artist creates orna-mental arrangements using images of flowers, foliage, buildings, friends, and relatives. The resulting abstract compositions are impossible to fully decode and instead unfold their impact through an atmospheric quality. For the Kunstverein Hannover the artist has produced a poetic installation with printed curtains that play on the classical theme of the interior and its metaphorical significance.
In Christiane Möbus’ (*1947 in Celle, lives in Hannover) series of photographs “gestiefelte Katze” (Puss in Boots), which she has been developing since the 1970s, the artist records her feet and their immediate surroundings. A similar photographic notation of the everyday and personal geography is the work Bay-reuth (2000/05), which functions in dialogue with the site-specific floor work “Ansichtssache” (A Matter of Perspective) (2015), a world map suggesting a wealth of associations, in which letters of the alphabet float like icebergs as reflec-tions on the localization of the self and the Other.
The unique architecture and series of exhibition rooms in the Kunstverein provide an exhibition experience that offers as a rich, poetic path through diverse views on life as seen from six individual artistic positions shown in sequence.