Breath | Hauch
Looking through dark trees we see a small clearing in the middle of a forest. Gnarled trees, only dimly recognizable, are in the background: thick mist lies over the landscape. The scenery sets a fairytale-like, mystical aura. What at first appears to be a static picture, turns out, when observed after a longer period of time, to be a video projection. The leaves sway gently in the trees, the wind becomes stronger and then fades. We focus on the empty space between the trees, which seems like a stage to us, waiting for something to happen. The eye searches for something hidden, for some indication of a possible plot, and tries to pierce the mist. Seconds, minutes go by and no one enters the stage, and eventually the suspicion becomes stronger that nothing is going to happen here. The only actor is the mist, which barely perceptibly begins to clear, and which then quickly thickens. The mist gives an obscured view of the trees, and shortly thereafter blocks it once again.
With this sense of broken expectation, Karen Irmer’s work »Hauch« (breath) opens up a new level: the work goes from being a potential actor in a plot to being a contemplative place. The atmospheric scenery of the secretive forest becomes the actual object of her work. At the latest at this point, the video reveals its poetic, meditative character. Concentrated observation gives way to purposeless viewing, which then allows for contemplative absorption in the work. This aesthetic playing with perception is a concept which often reoccurs in Karen Irmer’s work, and is characteristic of it as well. What is really there, and what could be? Her works question patterns of perception and cause confusion. Reality? Or apparition? She doesn’t give us a clear answer.