Two years ago, in his first big solo show Bastard Club, young painter Alexander Iskin made an impression with oil paintings showing unsettling hybrid creatures placed in apocalyptic landscapes. In his second exhibition “Reality Express” at Sexauer it is all or nothing now. Not only does Iskin mix up creatures, but also realities. Using multimedia he provides the appertaining art theory and philosophy: Interrealism.
We live in a world of medially conveyed images. They either move, as in film, or they alternate without a break, as it happens when you swipe over your smartphone. No longer do we live in one reality but inside many. The world is interrealistic. Iskin assumes that living among medially conveyed worlds leads to a lack of footing; to a big intermixture and indecisiveness resulting in the loss of self-assurance. It is a little bit like Paul Virilio’s frantic stagnation. Iskin’s reaction to it is artistically paradoxical. Indeed, he paints „interrealistic“ paintings which means that he mixes the realities on the canvas. But then again his paintings–although being interrealistic– do not only constitute interreality but also point out an escape from it; a way out of the limbo.
Iskin paints quite physical fragments and set pieces in front of different, rather loosely geometrically arranged, coloured surfaces and pictorial spaces. The semi-figurative (body) parts enchant the beholder through their pictorial intensification. Their ambivalence and perfectly balanced ambiguity evoke images from our visual memory. Hence, the beholder sees something new every time. However, the world’s interrealism differs from the one in Iskin’s paintings. Because they are not merely a reflection of an interrealistic world. They rather encourage to a visual journey and in such way point out the way out of groundlessness.
The interrealistic images differ from interreality from two points of view: On the one hand, reality is composed of many images quickly popping up one after another which leads to an indifferent consumption of that reality. Painting, however, is consistent. The beholder has time to focus on one image. Concentration instead of consumption. Furthermore, through the physical appearance of his figurative set pieces, Iskin lures the beholder into his paintings. The beholder starts his own search through the complex morphology. He turns from the passive consumer to an active seeker. Iskin amplifies this activating–not to say inspiring–effect with his ingenious idea. In his works Interreality Film Presents Nr 1 to 4 he presents two paintings, each one on freestanding silver-grey pedestals. They give the impression of huge iMacs and of course they are reminiscent of TVs. Ironically, like a trademark, INTERREALITY is inscribed on the frame. Through the presentation of two images, the works gain a filmic moment. The beholder, lost in the world of images, recognizes the familiar frame of a screen–and eventually gets lost in the painting. In Reality Express, Iskin leads us away from inter-reality to ourselves.
Iskin’s paintings do not depict interreality. They rather play with set pieces from an infinite image reservoir and transform them into a picturesque world of images. In contrast to the continuous loops of the virtual world, one pauses and is seduced to a creative way of seeing by the open offerings of motives and associations. This has a human potential: Everybody discovers something different and always something new. The beholders communicate and make a positive experience of pluralism.
In addition to the oil paintings and the INTERREALITY-TVs, Iskin extends his show with a video work. It shows an interrealistic world in which the visitors recognize themselves in a very special sense. But we will not tell more at this point. The exhibition is accompanied by a magazine, issued by Alexander Iskin, containing interrealistic texts and photographies by Christoph Neumann, titled INTERREALITY. The magazine will be handed out during the opening. Needless to say that Iskin also wrote the texts himself. But that again is another world…