Marcel Gähler

Marcel Gähler

There are no great gestures, no posing, no breaching of taboos, no reference to current topics. His images of alienation from reality exist outside of time. They portray mortality and losing one's grip on reality in pictures which are unspectacular. Pictures in which what the beam of a pocket torch makes fleetingly visible reveals only that what you are looking for is not there in what has been shown. Marcel Gähler, born in 1969, has found his own way as a painter. Gähler only ever suggests. He allows flashes of light to break through the darkness and an even deeper darkness to emerge from the impenetrable blackness of the night. Here too, the uncanny derives not from hints of past crimes or lurking monsters. His painting drives us towards the limits of our perception. It makes it disconcertingly clear that seeing nothing does not imply that nothing is there. Gähler understands how to create a vacuum and then punctuate it with shafts of seeing.

When Marcel Gähler's camera flashes in the darkness of night, his photograph captures a world asleep. His are views of familiar but forgotten places, often in rain or snow. It might be an allotment with shrivelled, overgrown vegetable foliage, a trace of last summer amid remains of an improvised greenhouse, the front wall of a house behind a garden shrub, or a tree-top pointing skywards. Gähler bases oil paintings, watercolours and spectacularly detailed pencil drawings on these photographs. The real content of the photograph is highlighted by this transposition. What a superficial glance might previously have missed now emerges, subtly reinforced, in his pictures.

These are images which lie at the interface between casual snapshot and meaningful allusion. Thus they create a motif-like state of suspense, open to free interpretation. They recall lost memories, summon up dream sequences. The ongoing daily loss of universe comes into view, captured on paper.


Sylvia Rüttimann

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