Bizarre human figures translocate to the fantasy reserves and seemly happy animals travel between imaginative forest and human land. Yet it takes only a short while until the viewer recognize tiger’s melancholy. Channeling viewers’ engagement, all elements in Franziska Fennert’s paintings deliberately come with vibrant even “girlish” colours, distinctive and stylized brushworks. Should the universe be a forest of symbols, the narrations and elements in Fennert’s works invite viewers to dive into it.
〈Romance between Traces of the Anthropocene｜人類遺跡的浪漫〉2020 Acrylic on canvas
壓克力於畫布 120 x 80 cm｜47.2 x 31.5 inches
Franziska Fennert, a young artist of German origin and now living in Yogyakarta, has received art awards in Indonesia and Germany. Studying in Germany and traveling around in Europe, China and Indonesia, she develops a very personal visual uniqueness that emphasizes upon metaphors. The freedom and concentration in Chinese ink painting and Japanese wood prints, the myths in Javanese paintings, the meditation and prayer associating with Russian icons painting, flat technique and stunning space in the medieval Persian miniature (Note),and the Magic Realism of Post-expressionist─ these aforementioned artistic activities left their traces and merge effortlessly into the artist’s works, wonderful representation of her opinion, mission and biography.
〈Fragile Abundance | 脆弱的豐盛〉2020 Acrylic on canvas
壓克力於畫布 160 x 140 cm｜63 x 55.1 inches
Another source of Franziska Fennert’s imagination is literature. Mystifying German folk tales, Russian literature including the vivid werewolf tales by post-soviet writer, mythical Hermeticism from ancient Egypt, Indonesian myths, history and philosophy texts and novels… these spiritual expressions, from East and West, not only connect the common cause of Fennert’s works, but construct her attempt to seek alternatives or to take a critical stance against reality—”My work nourishes itself from the fertile ground of fantastic traditions, fairytales and legends” she said.
Where to go?
Mahatma Gandhi once said “The earth has enough resources for our need, but not for our greed.” In the enchanting rain forest of “Lost Abundance” and “Romance between Traces of the Anthropocene,” the endangered Sumatran tiger and Orangutan live and hug in the frame of love, so much so that one could overlooks the plastic garbage and electronic devices. Both work talk about how mankind, being peremptory dominator and predator in eco system, deprive the habitat of living beings, and reflect how modern consumption lifestyle and non-recyclable products deplete the natural resources. Seemingly pleasant paintings are equipped with serious capacities: greed may lead to world-wide destruction, there are so much more mankind can do.
〈Power For All｜全體的力量〉2020 Acrylic on canvas
壓克力於畫布 70 x 55 cm｜27.6 x 21.7 inches
法蘭西斯卡透過創作表達人類文明對自然產生的傷害之外，更起身而行，與日惹當地社群加入由 Iwan Wijono 創辦的公共農場。《在家務農》中珍禽鳥鳴、碩果纍纍，人類再度與土壤和生物循環相連，承襲傳統生活的智慧，為人類提供消費生活型態外的另一種可能。《全體的力量》中，動物歡愉地勞動、交流、玩耍，背景卻隱約出現半透明的野獸獠牙，牠是無所不在的新型冠狀肺炎？還是現代人過度仰賴消費所誕生的野獸？為了滿足消費需求，過度開發資源將可能導致生態浩劫，法蘭西斯卡不願被資本主義擊垮，透過身體力行與她的創作傳遞自己的使命。
While continuing her creation of works with this serious evocation, Franziska Fennert also work with the local community in Yogyakarta and contributes to the project “public farm,” which is established by Iwan Wijono, stepping up natural farming adoption. Along with animals and plants, man in “Home Farming” is once again connected with the soil, the beings within biological cycle, and the wisdoms inherited from traditional life patterns. Here Fennert provides an alternative other than consumerism. In “Power for All,” animals work, and play joyfully, but the semi translucent mask with large tusks appears in the background. Is it a substitute of COVID-19 or an invisible beast created by excessive consumption? The increase in human consumption is directly proportional to environmental degradation. Fennert refuses to be defeated by capitalism and stands up to communicate her mission, through her lifestyle and creations.
〈The Branches We Let Grow & Fused to Raise an Equal Conscious Mind｜成長的分支與平等的意識〉
2009-2014, Sewed canvas, filling material, acrylic and wire
帆布、填充材料、壓克力和電線 280 x 500 x 300 cm｜110 x 197 x 118 inches
The multifaceted mediator of unity
Fennert’s installation of one body with several faces often refers to the impossibility of separating them, because one part cannot live without the other. Taken and extend from Janus, the god of transition and settling of disputes from Roman mythology, the soft sculpture becomes a perfect metaphor of relativity, pluralism, power and polarities. While revealing her optimism in communication and diplomacy, her concerns are rather obvious: conflicts between environment and mankind, differences between human’s behavior and belief, the alienated value in capitalism dominated economy, and the capital and geopolitical control by the history of colonialism and imperialism.
〈We Are One｜共體〉2015-2020 Sewed canvas, filling material, acrylic and wire
帆布、填充材料、壓克力和電線 85 x 50 x 5 cm｜33.5 x 20 x 2 inches
An epitome of time and unity of spiritual and earthly phenomenon, “We Are One” featured a fish tail clustered with faces. This symbol of posterity refers to mankind subconscious of generations and possibilities of fusing various aspects from different cultures. And we also have to be aware of power and diplomacy. The “Fused to Raise an Equal Conscious Mind” is reaching out its soft tentacles, with four faces directed against each other but sharing one same body, Implying the global dynamics and necessity of communication and sharing. Do octopus’ tentacles, wonderful symbol of control and power, talk about power transition in global politics, government’s global spying activities, or simply remind us: everyone is his or her own ruler? In “The Return of Birds to Tuban,” Brahma, the creator and wisdom god in Hinduism appears to be guarding human and all species, is summoning birds in the forest, where conservation policies have been implemented. Fennert has entrusted Brahma with her utopian hopes and dreams.
Franziska Fennert once mentioned that “If we believe in something it can become true, become reality. That’s how active imagination works.” Blending reality and dream state, contemporary society and fantasy, utopia and dystopia, unity and diversity, dignity and connection, Fennert’s works are proposals and suggestion to the present and future. She aims to pinpoint the simple truth: mankind should be sharing and being together on an equal level, especially true while the nationalist, conservative, and racist ideologies have recently become more visible across the globe. The sensible vision, presented in her work, of a multifaceted and conflicted, belonging together and equal world might be the only path leading to to the ideal and eternal homeland.
Note: Persian miniature is a richly detailed small scale painting. It is considered as one of the important art genre in medieval period.
文章來源：Nunu Fine Art