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About Hannes Bröcker

Born: 1980, Eckernförde, Germany

Lives and works in Dresden and Berlin


2008: Meisterschüler, Hochschule für Bildende Künste, Dresden
2003-2008: Studium der Malerei/Grafik Hochschule für Bildende Künste, Dresden

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Hannes Bröcker

Practice: painting

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 Young German artist Hannes Broecker employs various disciplines to initiate a deft interrogation of conflicting claims on public space.

His use of building materials such as concrete, plywood, metal and tar carry clear associations with construction, progress and renewal. This 'official' vision of the evolving cityscape is supported by a graphic language of power and control: road signs and street placards; the black and white stripes of zebra crossings or vibrant reds and yellows of warning or no entry signs.

In Broecker's works, reference to this arena of regulation is consistently contrasted with its opposite: a topography of alternative city spaces and an aesthetic of graffiti, paint bombing and unofficial documentation created by those who cannot, or do not wish, to adhere to proscribed use of territory.

Such tensions are, perhaps, most succinctly expressed in Broecker's cube-like structures which represent the orthodoxies of city planning.

Within them, haphazard spaces exist as organic, extempore counterpoints, clusters of deregulation which fill, or even threaten to spill from, the forms in which they are contained.

The fact that such spatial and aesthetic tensions also manifest, quite literally, as points of potential conflict is made evident throughout Broecker's work by a kind of simmering paranoia.

Padlocked chains swing across grilles; corridors within corridors take on nightmarish perspectives; Gregor Schneider-esque crawl spaces are built into sculptures and installations, while walls are crusted with fly-posting.

In the 2010 work 42 Tage unter Tage, gallery space itself - a semi-public gathering place and systematic cube par excelence - is filled with old mattresses and requisitioned as a temporary dwelling of the kind created by the homeless.

An innovative early work by Hannes Broecker consisting of wall-mounted vitrines filled with beverages and fitted with dispensing taps - a sort of artwork/vernissage - was featured in a multitude of style blogs. None of them, however, bothered to explore the artist's practice any further.

A pity, because Broecker's current work seems to us one of the most interesting evocations of the contemporary cityscape we've seen for some time.

Added Dec 2010

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