press release

Heinz Emigholz (1948) is an artist, filmmaker and author, who does not isolate one discipline from the others. His films can be read as essays, his drawings as storyboards and his diary comments as random indications of an overwhelming range of information and reality. Together they give shape to the structure of his work as whole.

The Basis of Make-Up is the title of a series of drawings, which started in 1974. The individual pages contain overlapping themes, seemingly pointing towards rebus-like structures, until it becomes clear they function as analytical associations. Biography intertwines with history or everyday images and signs. The result is an encyclopaedical interlacement. Time and again the starting point of a singular page is filtered and compiled into new story combinations or thematical groups.

The Basis of Make-Up is a surreal and disjointed atlas of images, a drawn, non-verbal construction, which creates bookmarks to an indecipherable account. It seems as if our century is encyclopaedically represented in a secret sign language. Above all this non-linear and asynchronous editing of events seems to question the credibility of our historical and personal memory. The drawing style of Emigholz, totally liberated from psychegraphical moments, approaches the style of comic strips. The uniformity of the hand is rendered photographically for one last time, after which all trace is immediately erased. The Basis of Make-Up is a film (1984, 35mm) showing a collage of Emigholz’ notebooks. In it the basics of the author’s ideas shimmer through before they are explicitly revealed. The photographed drawings derive their heterogeneous world of ideas from these notebooks; the construction of the notebooks is in itself the subject of an editing paste-up. Emigholz sketches the simultaneity of an inner revision of ideas and events with an outer world of images, extending into eternity thanks to the omnipotence of electronic media. The films by Heinz Emigholz were available on video during the exhibition. On request they could be viewed in a temporarily set up video library.


Heinz Emigholz - The Basis of Make-up (1974-2000)