German Spring 2019: Dezernat5 „Finger pointer“ („Fingerzeig“)
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DEZERNAT5 Gallery for Contemporary Art
In 2010, the artists Tino Bittner, Udo Dettmann and Thomas Sander joined forces and since then have shared their individual approaches in the collective “Dezernat5 Gallery for Contemporary Art”. In doing so, they not only accept overlaps in form and content, but examine the proximity of their works to each other. For their joint work “Fingerzeig” (“Finger pointer”; 2016), the artists limited themselves to the elementary statement of this gesture and have each implemented it in their different media. At the same time, the installation can be seen as a group manifesto, in which each individual work refers to the other works and thus creates a Gesamtkunstwerk.
The name of the collective was chosen based on the unique location of the gallery. As a former registration office during the German Democratic Republic, this building was home to the Dezernat 4. It was used beginning in the 1990s by the municipality’s regulatory agency. The name Dezernat5 addresses the transformation of state supervision through free, artistic action. Reflecting quiet self-irony, it also expresses the claim to be active in a socially relevant mission.
The cooperation allows Tino Bittner, Udo Dettmann and Thomas Sander to continuously re-examine and question their own practices. In the collective, they can critically illuminate the mechanisms of the art business and constantly redefine their own roles in the group. Cohesion comes mostly from three aspects: the will to communicate – all works enter into a dialogue with the viewer – the impulse to create a new perception, and taking a media-critical approach as a point of departure.
A reoccurring theme in the work of Dezernat5 is the construction of our everyday world by mass media. Images shape all areas of life; it is hardly possible to escape this access. While a younger generation naturally integrates images and dissemination strategies of social media into their artistic works, the three artists strive to question these methods. In their works they always trace the digital back to an analogue medium which they use as a venture point to criticise the virtuality of media-generated images and their influence on imagination, as well as on culture and social issues.
Text: Susanne Burmester
Translation: Lauritz Schönfeld