Sam Henne

Sam Henne

Work from Something Specific About Everything.

“I was looking through German’s good prospects (gute aussichten), where the playful, colorful work of Samuel Henne caught my eye. The sketch series of Erwan Frotin and the work of Uta Eisenreich came to mind, and if you grew up with memory games from the seventies, you might have an immediate affection for the work. It appears I am not the only one who enjoys the vibrant little sculptures. Henne had already exhibitions in venerable venues like the photomuseum Winterthur and the Deichtorhallen in Hamburg.

After I had seen all his table top creations, I couldn’t detect any further reason for the existence of this work beyond the purely visual aspects. Was there a hidden angle that I had missed? I read his (German only) text, which consisted of three complex sentences, and still there was no explanation. The only part in English is the title, and Google guided me to a text about a Buddhism weekend seminar, written by Alan Watts called “The World As Emptiness” (or, How the Dharma Bum Spent His Easter Vacation transcribing). Google did not help me any further, and I can’t detect any intrinsic Buddhistic qualities in Henne’s artificial transformations. I have translated Samuel Henne’s German text as well as I could, so that you can read it for yourself.

“something specific about everything” focuses on various aspects of value and revaluation of materials and objects within the arts practice and the cultural hierarchy. Issues such as Duchamp’s invention of Readymades and transformational processes fuse together with the artistic mediums.

Photography takes a special position in this topic, as photography made a value transformation as an artistic medium to gain an equal position to paintings and sculptures. Photography became an artistic medium, instead of getting a reduced position as a “pure recording” process.

Am I getting old (fashioned) when I am asking for more substantial thoughts? I mentioned Erwan Frotin and Uta Eisenreich in the beginning, and I think that their work has a certain legitimacy. Frotin is creating work for the commercial (advertising) market, and the visual language of Eisenreich is part of her concept, but do you feel the urge to discuss the “cultural value system” when looking at “something specific about everything”? Taken in a wider context, I can see the interest in just the visual aspects of Henne’s work as being part of a trend. In our times of continued political depression, people may welcome the clean, colorful and simple to feast their eyes on and which does not require us to deal with the burden of reality.” – via Mrs. Deane

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