‹Bela Lugosi is Dead›: Erich Weiss & Special Friends: Katia Bourdarel, Dirk Braeckman, Thomas Galler, Arno Nollen

For the coming exhibition the Belgian Erich Weiss has invented friends to enter an artistic dialogue. Bela Lugosi was the most famous “Count Dracula” actor. Since the 30’s he characterised the screen vampire. Erich Weiss undertook numerous journeys to the Carpathian Mountains, to find out the phenomena and myth of Dracula. Katia Bourdarel (F), Dirk Braeckman (B), Thomas Galler (CH) und Arno Nollen (NL) brings works to Berne, which evolve and approach the topic subtly. But the centre stages are Erich Weiss’ works, which have been developed last year.

Erich Weiss immediately and naturally had to be interested in the “Dracula”-Myth; the connections with his oeuvre to the matter are too evident. Morbidity combines with beauty, cult and occult, rock music or the secrecy of the night can be found in nearly all works of the artist. After large-scaled research he set off to travel, resulting in bringing back reflections as well as many works from remote territories.

The chosen media are manifold. Whether photography, video, drawing, collage, installation, the individual pieces of the puzzle do always fit perfectly in the artists overall concept. Attraction and rejection belong together in his work. The desire for immortality lends wings to the boldest dreams. The artist “creates” his own world, a world populated by humans and mythical beings, on which he puts a new complexion of familiar but a terrifying collaboration. His staging and pictures, found on extended walks, condense in the summary to a new legend, to his own version of the matter.

Katia Bourdarels aquarelles refer to fictitious fairytales; subtly she arranged authentically pretty motives, at second sight they become traumatic compositions. Masterfully, she paints and draws her imaginative worlds and translates the spectators in an atmosphere where they are believably lost, but remain in a very present world. Dirk Brackmans photographs seem to be a collection of flimsily taken snapshots, yet they are first class poetry. Seemingly, the unessential takes the centre stage and experiences an almost pictorial manner an unbelievable documentation Careless drops frequently compose the initial point to Thomas Gallers works. Roaming the world with open eyes, he brings hiss findings into an artistic light. With subtle interventions he deprives the objects “true” nucleus and therewith enables an open, neutral dialog. Arno Nollen finally is the master of collecting motives. Meticulously, a collaboration of “history” grows up, defining and witnessing the current and the intant. He knows how to bring the pictures into a transfigured-romantic package. This is expressed impressively with the portrait series of an older woman.

Bernhard Bischoff, February 2006