I have lived in translation most of my life. Shuttling between German, English and French I am constantly struck by the difficulty of translating the nuances expressed in one language to another. This dilemma reaches its outer limits in the translation of poetry. The significance of painting’s (and art’s) relationship to reality ebbs and flows constantly, a perpetual unstable and therefore a destabilizing value as the capacity of the painting to engage with reality is both limited and infinite. Painting is, to begin with and finally at best, only ever its own reality. Nonetheless consciously and unconsciously we strive to look to find the links and the clues that could somehow refer us to the tangible and the comprehensible, a form of self-reassurance. This desire, this need, opens the space for the REALITÄTSBILDER to operate in.
By adding the German title and its suggestion of the relationship a particular painting is supposed to have with reality, then subtitling this with the English translation, a looping of meaning, interpretation and reinterpretation is set in motion between the title, its translation and the painting. Each new reading drifts into new spaces through the fertile potential contradiction of understanding and misunderstanding.