BETWEEN BEHIND BESIDE
Boundaries and Spaces
Astrid Brünner’s artistic work is in constant motion. Painting, performance, dance, action – the disciplines within which she moves as an artist merge together freely, without any fixed boundaries. She composes fluid transitions – formally and thematically. Astrid Brünner draws her lines deliberately, intending to renegotiate and question them in the process of working. Temporary frameworks determined in advance, such as lines taped to the ground, traces of water on asphalt or a rolled-out dance floor, define the space of her dance-like movements and actions. The situations delineated in this way open up new spaces for a freedom in which possibilities are formulated performatively. These are discussed in reciprocal relationships with other artists as well as observers and considered in terms of an engagement with the surrounding environment. Boundaries generally presumed to exist become exposed, and bridges are built to pass beyond them. What interests Brünner are the intersections between painting, performance and dance.
Encounter and Communication
Conceptually and in terms of their production, the works of art contained in this publication are created in reaction to an imagined or real counterpart. They usually contain a participatory component, an invitation to an encounter or an embracing element. The generation of a resonating framework, the establishment of contact and the resulting connections are central components of her painting-based actions and performances in public spaces. Communication is established between bodies. Impulses are transmitted, received, interpreted and answered. Personal sensations find expression and leave their traces behind – words are unnecessary.
Experiment and Chance
Astrid Brünner’s approach can be described as experimental. In terms of its disposition, her working process resembles an experimental set-up with predetermined initial conditions leading to unknown results. Random and unpredictable elements are part of her artistic concept. The artist deliberately works with the uncertainties of public actions and participatory forms of creation.
Appropriation and Intervention
Another aspect of working in public spaces is the intent of intervention. Familiar patterns of perception and behaviour, such as those of passers-by in urban pedestrian zones, are disrupted through a utilisation or temporary occupation of areas of space and their reinterpretation through performances and actions. The view into display windows is obstructed through coloured layers of paint, and the glass of the window takes on a different function as a surface for painting. Astrid Brünner creates moments that exist outside the expectable. Her artistic practice raises questions and plays with our habitual expectations and viewpoints by formulating alternative approaches to interpretation and by providing space to manoeuvre.
Action, Colour and Space
At the same time, Astrid Brünner simultaneously acts as artist and medium and inscribes herself into her work. In her dancing movements and bodily gestures, she delineates and forms a sculptural space; beyond this, she develops a living sculpture. In this context, the selection of her clothing’s colour is deliberate. Her appearance is already a reaction to her surroundings, the artists performing with her and the objects that form a visual focal point in her performances.
Trace, Gesture and Layering
Astrid Brünner repeatedly pursues the trace as a motif in her artworks. In her performances, she engages with various traces of her surroundings, reacting to sounds, noting and interpreting inner as well as outer traces of emotions and the body. In terms of painterly gesture, she leaves traces behind by inscribing the sometimes intense physical process of painting into the painted surface. The artist additionally augments her colourful, highly expressive, abstract landscapes through the element of omission. The layers of paint repeatedly reveal views of the levels underneath them. Areas left blank on the painted glass of the display windows focus our gaze on hidden or overlooked elements of what lies behind them and, depending on our perspective, reflections in the glass integrate its surroundings into the work.
Astrid Brünner’s works play with our perceptual conventions, stimulate shifts in our perspective and teach us the value of an impartial, open gaze.