For the facade of the Kestner Gesellschaft, Rodrigo Hernández designed Flux of Things: a silver tableau in which the Mexican artist combines his narrative language and the modernist grid of an architectural pattern. This tapestry of narrative gestures hovers over the main entrance of the Kestner Gesellschaft building, mimicking a frieze on the glass facade of contemporary architecture wedged between two historic sections of an early Art Nouveau building on a busy thoroughfare.
Consisting of 40 square segments of thin silver sheets, Hernández’s mural captivates with the smoothness of the surface, its brilliance that locks in daylight and sunshine, its airy appearance and the lightness of a passing cloud. Flux of Things is an act of masterfully crafted subtlety: a simplified drawing, carefully curved on a polished, specular, reflective metal sheet membrane, like a paper cutout rendered at the edge of visibility, a sort of origami, an evocation of the archetypal.. .
A man lying on a hilly bank contemplating a river, its stoic current and the swimming fish; a tree on a still night under the croissant moon, with a bat staring fearfully but harmlessly at an ambitious figure; a face, a mask, a persona – at the center of an interrupted narrative; a hand holding a rose, an offering, a dedication; a cosmonaut floating in the galaxy; a giant cat descending the stairs in disguise; the clock floating detached above us and a pair of lovers embracing as time passes idly; oh, a lover is a monkey in an Ovid drama of metamorphosis; meanwhile, a snail turns into a spiral approaching infinity, and a butterfly turns into a comet, chasing a dinosaur; Silence and tranquility are haptic sensations in a monochrome universe Flux of Things:, the agents of melancholy and longing, a temporary escape. Welcome to the Forest of Signs by Rodrigo Hernández, a subversive allegory of turmoil and uncertainty.
A gifted storyteller, Hernández is a busy dreamer; its flux of things is a reverie, a phantasmagoria, an airy scenario indeed, an encoded meeting of a magical realism and a visceral realism that generously offers a spatial and temporal tension, between fiction and fantasy, with a poetic intensity of a momentary retreat, but at the same time one permanent affirmation of a disturbed world of the here and now. The artist on his way of working: “I always start with a drawing, which ideally is quick and just a subtle hint of something. The rest of the process is in a way just a reflection and a negotiation with this original drawing: I work on its evolution into a painting, a sculpture or a large installation, but try not to stray too far from it because I believe , that it has something real and immediate that should be preserved no matter what form it takes. Some people compare drawing to writing, but I see it more as the act of remembering something and the moment before remembering is commented on; drawing seems to me not to belong entirely to the world of what is fully formed and fixed. It is precisely because of this quality that I find it very exciting to work with a drawing that ventures into other mediums such as sculpture; it feels like stepping into another dimension where all the basics have to be cleared and a new language has to be invented, like having a map in a dream jungle.” what form it takes.
Photos by Roland Schmidt