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'Signal to Noise' by Cédric Eisenring at DREI, Cologne

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Signal to Noise (2019) is a sequential series of photographs of public, photorealis- tic bronze sculptures. Edited directly in the lab, the final prints are intertwined with quotes appropriated from graphic novels of the 1990s, amalgamating the documentary and the fictional and following the artist’s engagement with narrative both pictorial and text based. In his second solo exhibition with the gallery, Eisenring undertakes a reflection about the photographic medium as well as on communication and distribution strategies in both the digital and public realm.

The handcolored prints on view are conceived as double spreads of a „book on the wall“, developed in collaboration with the Swiss editor Andreas Koller. The spreads will be assembled in an artist’s book, due to be published later this year.



In the disguise of a photographer, the urban sociologist, no, the psycho geographer traces the Segway-driving guy who wears a python around his neck and stops at a soft serve stand to make photos with slurping tourists for money. Trap is banging from smart phone speakers while three staccato drummers are rivalling, tanned and buff men somersault over heaps of tourists, a homeless person is lying on a park bench photographed by kids with their selfie sticks. Next to it, in the meadow, a group of people practice Tai Chi. And in the basin of a Lincoln statue someone remote controls a sailing ship with an app. Two weekender record an Instagram story: a peace-sign selfie with a proportion gag. Index and middle finger poke into the sculpture’s nose.

The seemingly endless availability and arbitrariness of images, the lability of gestures, codes and history, the chatter, taking place on smart phones, in parks, in social media and everywhere in between: the digital increasingly interferes with the physical space and our psyche, while the public space inversely subjectivizes by means of privatisation and economization.

This culture of mixed emotions corresponds with futuristic scenarios depicted in graphic novels of the 1990s, melting the discrepancy between the documentary and the fictional, between reality, imagination and delusion, with dissonant frequencies and images of broken souls.

The bronze statues, photographed by Eisenring and taken out of context, transform into schizo-narrative resonant bodies. The flaneur-photographer as well as the statues are proxies of a historical moment; both only play a subordinate role in the attention economy of public spaces. In keeping with the restaged photographer’s melancholy, the fragments of monologues and dialogues reflect the physical existence of the figures – filled with collective psyche and the noise of the half-digital bodies around them / surrounding them.

12.4.19 — 8.6.19

DREI

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