From 14.06.2014 until 05.07.2014 Affenfaust Gallery is proud to host the exhibition “Make Mistakes“ by Dave the Chimp and Christian Roth.
Christian Roth is a photographer, Dave the Chimp a painter and illustrator. In their works they combine both mediums by enriching Roths photographs with playfully comic-like creatures, drawn by Dave the Chimp. At first sight they appear to be cute, but on closer inspection we discover they are often rather depressed, anxious, nervous, or even dead. With his predominantly black and white photography, Roth catches situations which, put out of their context, tell a very different and sometimes absurd story. Situations of everyday life, separated from their context, become marvelous. The works show scenes with a calm and dark, sometimes morbid atmosphere. By adding further actors another level becomes present: the relationship between the actors. Often with only the tiniest addition the reality of the image can change drastically. Due to the application of acrylic paint on the surface, the photography looses its transparency and the material becomes visible again. Photography, which likes to claim to be a pure image of reality, so becomes unmasked as processable material. The direct application of paint shows the courage to make mistakes. Nothing can be erased or withdrawn. What is done is done, as in real life.
The two artists seem mostly interested in the moment of the absurd. When something is absurd you try to give it a meaning so that you can handle the madness. It is with that moment of insecurity that they like to play. They don´t want to tell a story that only has one true meaning. Instead one should try to explain the scene for themselves. With this they encourage the viewer to be creative, and thus the energy of the original creative act lives on in every new reading of the work.
There is no truth, as with different perspectives there are different realities. By merging their two realities, Dave the Chimp and Christian Roth create a whole new world.
Dave the Chimp lives and works in Berlin. Christian Roth lives and works in Giessen.
The artists met over 15 years ago through skateboarding. As skateboarders they have little fear of making mistakes. Falling down is part of life. They transfer this belief to their art. With analog photography and overpainting by hand, nothing can be digitally corrected or withdrawn. They try to maintain a certain naivite, because “it’s the unforeseen which makes life so exciting.” Hence the exhibition title “Make Mistakes!“, as from mistakes something new and incredible can emerge.
Text: Judith Hofer