Andreas Hahn: Künstler / Artist

la vida es bella

~Appreciation of a kitchen sponge
~Resurrection of a potato fork

Installation at the Baltic Sea in 2015

Diary Entries

Appreciation of a kitchen sponge

The thing with the kitchen sponge began on a spring day at the Baltic Sea on an ordinary morning while doing the dishes, as every morning. During this routine process, the following sequence of events took place: 

The action is about the throwing of a used utilitarian object into an adjacent rubbish bin. 

This was certainly the case this morning, when the battered old kitchen sponge might have found the end of its purpose – had it not been for a certain moment that altered its destiny.

This chucking-out gesture had an irritating effect on me, after it had happened. The reasons for this were, of course, the odour, the way it looked and its loss of cleaning efficiency. Usually, one look, a whiff of an unpleasant odour, a couple of seconds pass and the bin lid is opened, and with that oh, so automatic hand gesture, it is chucked out. 

On this particular morning, however, this did not happen. The kitchen sponge, which was now submerged among discarded tea bags, apple peels, packaging and filth, was taken out again.  As in a film, this sequence of events has played itself out again and again in my mind: 

Washing up – the odour – the look – the irritation – the automatic hand gesture – the rummaging through the rubbish.

The inner feeling only began to calm down when the artistic seeker in me began to grasp that he wanted to artistically transform this everyday battered object and place it in the centre of a composition. The working title of this project thus became:

The appreciation of a kitchen sponge

It was to be gilded, as an expression of the greatest possible appreciation for this offensive object. A used cleaning rag lying nearby with its own unique aesthetics at that moment was to underscore the composition. Leather paper and charcoal were used as additional materials.

The need to bring the completed installation into a relationship with the surrounding ambience of the natural environment seemed a second necessary step as a counter-balance to the morning’s events.

The appreciation of the kitchen sponge now seemed complete.

The resurrection of a potato fork

The case of the potato fork was similar – and yet different.

Similar in that this utilitarian object was presumably disposed of near the sea and lived out its further existence on the beach as ‘flotsam and jetsam’. The shaft and prongs were in a suitably eroded state, but quite decent looking – aesthetic in its own way. It lay on the sand.

Here, too, something from within surged up in me wanting to bring this tool – presumably used often in contributing to nourishment – into a different context.

Gold, too, was to serve as the keynote. The fork was mounted on old wooden planks, which formed the surface. Newspaper, tissue and leather paper were used to divide the upper and lower parts. Two gilded cords connected the upper handle to the lower tips of the outer prongs.

It was installed in the field where it formerly had worked. It was photographed from different angles and in its different settings.

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