The Breeder presents the second solo exhibition in Athens of German artist Uwe Henneken. Once again the artist Uwe Henneken presents to us an oppressive imagery, that touches on the fears and longings of our soul: read backwards as transience, negation and disappearance and written forward as love, faith and hope, Henneken’s imagery moves us so deeply, because it refuses a distant consideration. The image we gaze upon, gazes deeply back at us. Desert and desertion are central themes within Uwe Henneken’s work. In his current pieces, with abandoned houses, vacant settlements, dead cities and soulless bodies, he continues this concept civilizing, literally and bodily and consciously uses blank space as a negation. Silent messages of denial and assuming power articulate themselves in a fleeting script – CataStrophes in the blink of an eye. As acrobats of shipwreck, Henneken’s clowns become martyrs of the body. In one last hysterical rear up the IMPERIUM inscribes itself into their bodies. Trees conjure nihilism; a raddled creature makes its way as a pilgrim on his ultimate journey. The grieving eremite recluses himself, and winter has taken an untimely leave. Almost like an assault on our eyes, the color-violence of Hennekens paintings hits us. Like a fire worker of proclamation, Henneken presents us flames instead of colors. Capped and gowned the world goes to the ground. But what Uwe Henneken enunciates us though is never a manifest of hopelessness. Even the nought, is endless – the word falls to bits. Following his own tradition he thematises a cycle of coming and going, of sense and senselessness that, this time, starts at the end.
Finally peace comes in. Sacral overarched the moon sleeps quietly. An abandoned kneeler tempts to a silent prayer. As beginning and end, as key to the Universe: the alpha and omega – the revelation of God. In this way the exhibition invites us, as the beholder, to kneel down and raise one’s eye: the image that we gaze upon, gazes back deeply inside of us. For the first time, in this exhibition, Henneken’s figures appear to us in a direct dialogue with the figures of another artist. As a short-circuit between Henneken’s Imperium Schlemihlium and the visuals of the hallucinatory Gnostic cartoonist David Tibet – founding member of music group Current 93, whose works Henneken has admired for a long time, in these remarkable drawings a momentous communion is formed which burns itself into our souls: incredibly, astonishing creatures materialize, as if electrified, out of the dark: Flash!
Uwe Henneken was born in Germany 1974 and he lives and works in Berlin. Solo shows include Kunstverein Braunschweig in Germany (2010) and Kunstmuseum Muelheim an der Ruhr (2009). Group shows include “Marchenwald. Schattenwelten und Fabelwessen” Sprengel Museum, Hannover (2009), “Warum ich kein Konservativer bin, Museum der bildenden Kuenste Leipzig, Leipzig (2009), Wert-Schaetzung, Sammlung Sander, Berlin (2008), “Supernatural”, Centro Cultural Andratx, Andratx-Mallorca (2008), “Vertrautes Terrain-Collectors’ Choice,” ZKM-Museum fur Neue Kunst, Karlsruhe (2008), “Mario Testino: At Home”, Yvon Lambert, New York (2007), “Like colour in pictures”, Aspen Art Museum, Aspen, Colorado (2007), “Re-dis-play”, Heidelberger Kunstverein, Heidelberg (2007), “Symbolismus und die Kunst der Gegenwart”, von der Heydt Museum, Wuppertal (2007), “A private public mystery tour”, Ausstellungsraeume der Akademie der bildenden Kunste Wien, Vienna (2006). Text by Susanne Dudda