Art always arises in the course of viewing it, and that means it arises only in our eyes, i.e. at the moment when it has already been withdrawn from the artist.
Michael Hofstetter (born 1961) is an artist, and that's why he thinks about making art. His works show smoke, blazing fire, neon light or words. The titles of his works are “For Franziska”, “Wasn't meant like that”, “Toxic Sculpture” and even “Without me”. Michael Hofstetter came up with all of this, and yet he obviously doesn't feel responsible for what we do with it. Art always arises in the course of viewing it, and that means it arises only in our eyes, i.e. at the moment when it has already been withdrawn from the artist.
Obviously, the Munich artist is hardly concerned with painting pictures or making sculptures with traditional instruments, but rather with setting activities in the world with which he would like to draw us into an intellectual exchange. For this he uses clothes, photographs, interviews, films, objects, rooms - all of which serve as interventions that get in the way of our habits of art and life.
Michael Hofstetter is convinced that contemporary art has to be about more than beautiful and precious pictures. Because, like the artists at the time of the upheavals in the 1920s and 1960s, he insists that art should be attached to its utopias, his art wants to tie utopia into life. What we talk about, what we think about, who we follow, what we do, nothing happens apart from the living conditions for which people can only blame themselves. Why do we submit to these circumstances so often? Michael Hofstetter traps our thoughts, for which he wants to open new spaces.
In art, too, the following applies: what dares to go beyond the limits of the familiar is new and defenceless, but it can move freely and at ease. That is why the encounter with his art differs from the usual viewing of paintings or sculptures. Many exhibits appear playful and fleeting. They invite us to immerse ourselves in art, to bask in its light, to hide in its smoke, also to register the bullet holes of time and to immerse ourselves in the meaning of the written words and symbols, where we can find ourselves in their "feelings" , "Abysses" or "coincidences" get bogged down. Art and life remain intertwined. Seen in this way, you could also take his new neon work “Upcycling” on the east facade of the art museum personally. Hofstetter provides an answer to the most important task in art. As Theodor W. Adorno put it, it should always approach and use all possibilities as opportunities for life.
Michael Hofstetter Vol3: 2011 - 2019
Edited: Kunstmuseum Kloster Unser Lieben Frauen Magdeburg, Annegret Laabs, Uwe Gellner
Texts German / English: Dorothée Bauerle-Willert, Karin Hutflötz, Shiva Lachen, Karl Borromäus Murr Translation: Paul Bowman, Karl Detering
296 pages, 192 illustrations, hardcover
modo Verlag GmbH
Price 34.00 euros