© 1987 - 2017 z.B.
Bildrecht Wien
Birgit Zinner

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Emergent Forms. Processes of Materialization in Birgit Zinner’s Art from Edgar Landgraf

(…) Birgit Zinner´s works explore, cross, entangle, explicate, and reflect forms. Juxtaposing opposites, they focus on borders that form where material and conceptual lines meet, allowing us to observe their paradoxical unity. The exploration of such borders takes place on multiple levels in Zinner’s work: with colors and materials, as well as figuratively and conceptually. It unfolds in ways that also reflect the form of such differentiations themselves, inviting us to observe the unity of distinctions such as those between what is conceptual and material, between color and shape, or between what is figurative and physical. Observe, for example, how Zinner’s image-objects play with the distinction between foreground and background. The material forms serve alternately and simultaneously as foreground and as background (…) Zinner puts original and variation in dialogue with each other and thus redefines the relationship between original and variation. The variations bring what once was contingent (what in a first iteration was left behind or cast away) back into an artistically necessary relationship. As they are reshaped and fashioned into new, emancipated figures and forms, they constitute a new context for the “original.” In this regard, Zinner’s works are constantly in motion. Every series, every variation, and negative variation comments and changes preceding works, offering new contextualization possibilities, new constellations, and new points of contact. As a consequence, small works, through serialized variations, may evolve into major works that in turn can be broken down again or whose remainders might trigger new figures, new variations, and new series. In this case, continuity takes the form of a continued discontinuity. In a process of ongoing differentiation, the preceding is negated and yet in its negation simultaneously reaffirmed as something new, as different, and as distinctive again. That makes Zinner’s art in a strict sense unpredictable. Although at first glance many of her paintings and image-objects appear to reveal an inherent order and might even seem harmonious in how they arrange figures, a closer look quickly reveals that the apparent orderliness is constantly subverted, broken, and disturbed. As a consequence, Zinner’s work can also be called deconstructive in two senses of the word. The iterations that constitute her work reveal the reversibility of hierarchies and the mutual dependence of opposite sides. They also expose how every repetition entails the trace of a difference, creates change that traverses time in both directions, forward and backward (…)

Edgar Landgraf, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Bowling Green State University, Ohio, 2014