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CHATROOM | HANS HEMMERT | 9 April to 6 May 2022

Hans is good at making a grand entrance. However, airy, ephemeral and yet baroque at the same time. With the long series of his yellow balloons, he is currently on show in the Kunstmuseum Bonn. Space-filling yellow splendour that drives the viewer into inviting confinement. Hans’ expansive works are of an intimist monumentality.

With Chatroom he invites the visitor to a scaffolding. ‘All Hallows Eve’, the scale replica of the famous walnut pulpit in the Benedictine monastery in Bamberg (a baroque feat dating back to 1756) made, once again, of airy styrofoam, is to be encountered up close, and at eye level. However, the holy staff that adorns the pulpit is found wearing the pumpkin heads of Halloween and equipped with laptops, the insignia of today's communication. A crucified cell phone, literally nailed to the gallery wall, takes up the theme. Above it, hovers a Bell UH-D helicopter, on a scale of 1:20, which proclaims the message "Jesus Allah Buddha loves you" over the Middle Eastern war theatre. These days we’re looking at another war theatre and in our immediate neighbourhood.

Hans’ work lays access points to a (formerly religious) naiveté of understanding long thought lost, which he turns to a pop-inspired secularism. The fact that he lifts the viewer from the depths of the nave to the eye level of the pulpit goes, of course, against all the from-above preaching of the fundamentalists and orthodox of today’s world. The pulpit remains empty (perhaps the tomb, too) and God dead.

Opening on 9 April from 6 pm | Covid 19 restrictions apply.

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