24 March 2023 - 13 May 2023

Mathias Kessler combines in his exhibition WASTED SUNSETS works from different groups of works into new curatorial contexts. The motif that guides and holds the exhibition together relates to our complex relationship with nature and the phenomena of nature. As such, an important goal of the exhibition is to open up new, unexpected perspectives on nature and its cultural appropriation.

At the center of the exhibition is the short film DAS RESORT, directed by Mathias Kessler, which was made under the impression of the first Covid 19 lockdown. Based on a screenplay by Ron Kanecke, translated into German by Chiara Juriatti, the film tells of the nameless narrator‘s search for his father in a world where a virus has silenced people. Against the backdrop of a nameless mountain village, a narrative unfolds beyond linear time, along memories of childhood, the father, and the world before and after the catastrophe.

Wide, striking landscape shots of lonely mountain huts, snowy ski pistes, and abandoned mountain villages reveal a haunting, dystopian void that emphasizes the absence of man. Kessler‘s award-winning film inspires reflection on man‘s inescapable impact on nature and the state of a society in which technological progress becomes an end in itself.

His theses are forceful: „The idea that a return to pristine nature is possible through human retreat is naive. Humans have already left their traces so extensively that even the most deserted places are marked by them. After all, our social development towards more and more technical progress obscures the view of what human and non-human well-being requires.

In addition, Kessler shows new works from his painterly group of works LIGHT PHENOMENA, which he created especially for this exhibition. These rather meditative works also show his analytical view of nature. All paintings are based on photographic images of storms, fog and sunsets. Using spray paint applied in fine gradients, he transformed them into paintings. With these images, reminiscent of color surface painting, Kessler captures a light phenomenon that has only existed since industrialization. With the increasing pollution of the air, the colorfulness of the light phenomena in the sky has also changed. It is only through the dirt particles that the special aesthetic of romantic sunsets or foggy landscapes emerges. Whereas in his earlier works he always reverted to photographs of the light phenomena, more recently he has also used paintings by artists such as Claude Monet or Rembrandt as the basis for his pictures, which are reminiscent of color field painting.

These paintings are complemented by works on paper in which he uses laser technology to partially destroy images of historical paintings while at the same time opening up new ways of looking at them. In addition, charcoal drawings will be on display that relate to a project by Mathias Kessler that deals with climate research.