Benja Sachau

Benja Sachau

Grasdorf Disc, 2014
Pizza dough
96 x 96 cm

Benja Sachau

Astroturfing, 2014
Mixed Media
226 x 230 cm

Benja Sachau

The Elite Network, 2014
Mixed Media
226 x 230 cm

Benja Sachau

Moon, 2014
Inkjetprint on paper and alu Dibond
180 x 90 cm

Benja Sachau

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy, 2014
Typewriter ink on paper
139 x 71 cm

Benja Sachau

Companion, 2013
Ceramic tile and permanent marker on wood
122 x 152 cm

Benja Sachau

Die grosse Konjunktion, 2013
Hula-Hoops, nylon cord, screws, graphite
310 x 310 cm

Benja Sachau

Die grosse Konjunktion (detail), 2013
Hula-Hoops, nylon cord, screws, graphite
310 x 310 cm

Benja Sachau

To whom it may concern, 2013
C-prints, spraypaint and marker on plexiglass
139 x 109 cm cm

Benja Sachau

There were rumors, 2013
Typewriter ink and pencil on paper
83 x 63 cm

Benja Sachau

Code(M16), 2013
Typewriter ink on paper
83 x 63 cm framed

Benja Sachau

Belltone 222, 2013
Mixed media
35 x 35 x 15 cm

Benja Sachau

Higgs-Boson (god particle), 2012
brass, stainless steel
80 x 80 x80 cm

Benja Sachau

Buraq, 2013
Acrylic, graphite, stain, shellac,lacquer on wood, 2 parts
150 x 120 cm each

Benja Sachau

Blessing in disguise, 2013
Acrylic, graphite, shellac and lacquer on stained wood
100 x 80 cm

Benja Sachau

Sirius B, 2012
Acrylic, and lacquer on wood
160 x 160 cm

Benja Sachau

Golem, 2012
Ink, sodium hypochlorite, hydrogen peroxide and oilwax on paper
150 x 100 cm

Benja Sachau

Abduction(proof), 2011
Typewriter ink and pencil on paper
40 x 30 x 6cm

Benja Sachau

Installation view "There were Rumors" 2013 Soy Capitán, Berlin


„Each Memory Recalled Must Do Some Violence To Its Origin“ curated by Aaron Moulton
Abandoned house in an undisclosured location, Utah (USA) 2012

FBI_Q042_extracted, 2010
Audio on tape 12:20 min

About

Benja Sachau - There Were Rumors

Heike Fuhlbrügge

In his second solo exhibition at Soy Capitán, Berlin-based artist Benja Sachau is concerned with far more than just vague rumors and cryptic secrets. Sachau's conceptually calculated objects are multimedia implementations of the impossible: rumors of scientific discoveries with fatal consequences, consciously manipulated propaganda information, forgotten specialist knowledge, myth, parascientific belief constructs and half truths – such are his themes. He formulates them in objects such as 'Die große Konjunktion' (The Great Conjunction, 2013), a wall piece of hula hoops and nylon cord; two tile works in ceramics and Plexiglas, 'Companion' (2013) and 'To Whom It May Concern' (2013); two works on paper, 'There were rumors' and 'Schlüssel (M16)' (Code (M16), 2013); and a sound object: an apt trumpet with the title 'Beltone 222' (2013).

Sachau deals with themes such as the discourse on power and domination in politics, religion and science as societal processes, and the calculated games they sometimes play with the control, or losing control, of the mass media. Entirely in line with the critical stance of Marshall McLuhan's 'Understanding Media' (1964), Sachau also puts the medium of communication in the spotlight and makes it the message.

For example, we get a sense of how the spoken word becomes an instrument of power when listening to the annuciatory trumpet of 'Beltone 222'. Like a news satellite, this autarchic wind instrument functions on solar power. In an endless looped message, the trumpet blares out the uncanny voice of sect leader Reverend Jim Jones, founder of the Peoples Temple cult, whose nine hundred followers committed mass suicide in the Guyanan rainforest in 1978. Sachau drives this into the realm of the absurd, reducing his power-crazed speeches to nothing but the names of persons and institutions lined up in staccato – Henry VIII, German Federal Republic, etc. This recalls the theory of pastoral power as described by Michel Foucault in 'The Subject and Power' (1982). Here Foucault defines an old strategy of religious power that employs confession, preaching, and prophesy as linguistic means for subjugating the individual to existing social conditions. And this form of authority, he argues, is consciously maintained even by modern states.

In the work on paper that gives this exhibition its name, Sachau takes a skeptical approach to older examples of an early rumor mill. For this work he typed up the New Testament text of Matthew 27:1–7 on a typewriter. Here Jesus warns his disciples about false prophets and tells them to how they are to interpret the signs of the end times.

Cases of the information regime of radio and internet losing control are a further subject for Sachau and are taken up in 'Die große Konjunktion', 'Companion', and 'To Whom It May Concern'. The thread of nylon that binds the hula hoops of this wall object together visualize the points at which the orbits of Saturn and Jupiter cross. These so-called conjunctions occur about every twenty years and have long been a source of speculation.

The encrypted e-mails reproduced on the tiles of 'Companion' recall the messy scrawlings of toilet graffiti. The e-mails refer to events surrounding the appearance of the Hale-Bopp comet, which could be seen from earth with the naked eye between 1995 and 1997. One radio station had reported on the observations of hobby photographer and amateur astronomer Chuck Shramek, whose pictures showed up a 'Saturn-like object' in the tail of the comet. This gave rise to thousands of e-mails on the subject which flared up uncontrollably on the internet, intensifying to the point of hysteria, and ultimately, at the conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter in 2000, led to paranoia and mass killings.

Benja Sachau's media-critical works are adept interpretations of current discourses on hierarchization, power, the control of knowledge, and the visual forms these things take. The works play with supposedly concealed messages, conspiracy theories, and the peripheral regions of scientific order, making them visible like a litmus test.

 

Benja Sachau: Superposition

Robert Grunenberg

Benja Sachau's artworks are superpositions . They are 'super' in the literal, historical sense because they arrange multiple aesthetic and scientific points in relation to each other where they overlap and extend synthetically. In the same way superpositions are formed by ancient columns or superimposed physical quantities, Sachau's work creates an overarching aesthetic whole through the parallels between multiple dimensions. You are in a logically sealed formation that simultaneously responds to the phenomena of our world.

Such is the focus of his work which oscillates between graphic and sculptural objects and installations of complex and strange phenomena. His projects reflect natural, theoretical, ritualistic or paranormal phenomena by creating subtle objects which merge technical calculation with artistic intuition.The results are abstract gridded wall pieces, intricate kinetic sculptures and multi-sensory installation pieces. His interest here is in structural opposites and contradictory incidents that elude straightforward conclusions.

Sachau's artistic experimentation analyzes and models the variables of such tensions to see what happens when these borderlines are transcended. In order to understand such phenomena aesthetically as well as with critical scrutiny, and ultimately to pursue something autonomous, Sachau selects associative visual forms which causally relate to his sources of inspiration. His choice of media and materials is thus always iconic, as the logical result of an initial appearance, lending his work an inherent perfection. In his artistic process of appropriation, Sachau expands his observations, research and arrangements into autonomous structures.

He merges formal, logical, and symbolic opposites into 'dual units' to counter balance and confront common propositions with something new and peculiar. An ambivalence is created which generates a broader understanding of supposedly 'true' facts. Through these radical manipulations, Sachau reveals to us the structures and systems in which cognitive processes can occur. These are setups for experimentation which operate on the ontological parameters of our world. They are not concerned in searching for 'absolute truths' but rather with questioning the systemic authorities and mechanisms that determine the possibilities of our senses.

Sachau connects this analytic approach with an aesthetic form in which artistic practice and theory overlap and permeate each other. The 'how' and 'what' within Sachau's work is thus one and the same – a dual unit, a superposition.

 

Vita

solo exhibitions

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

selected group exhibitions

2014

Contact

represented by: Soy Capitán, Berlin
info@soycapitan.dewww.soycapitan.de

contact@benjasachau.com