Thomas Zipp: Figure-Ground Specification in Terms of Structural Information. The Rivalry between Different Pattern Codings

In thematic exhibitions Thomas Zipp (born in Heppenheim, 1966) conceptualizes a constellation of correlative symbols and representative histories. This topology of fact and fiction is a narrative indexing of the mind, cognition, and the unquantifiable recesses of the brain. Within comprehensive mixed-media installations, Zipp brings to the fore a forensic analysis of canonized knowledge with a thought provoking acuity of consciousness.

Through the lens of myth he symbolically views, maps, questions, and transgresses standardized historical fact. Paintings, drawings, graphics, collage, and three-dimensional works relate to social political structures promulgated by the military industrial complex, art history, science, religion, and ultimately philosophy. Zipp discursively assembles a revisionism of accepted doctrine and dares conjure their dark forces.

Seminal figures of history in his portraits have for better or worse contributed to the structure of society and our reading of it. Some have shaped policy and set far-flung agendas that constructed the paradigmatic viewpoint of the world.

Simultaneously Zipp polarizes this factual sociological dissection in pursuit  of the age-old mystery of the self, and individualism. In botanical paintings pharmacology and street drugs are alluded to as vessels used to explore an interior state in the pursuit of esoteric knowledge. Theatrical settings where heavy metal music is performed emphasize a cathartic eruption of repressed feelings. At the same time the platforms allude to 19th century lecture halls as a orderly place for disseminating universal knowledge.

An installation of a “psychiatric clinic/research center” for hysteria and schizophrenia was shown last summer at the Palazzo Rossini in Venice. Inspired by David Bowie lyrics that reference Nietzsche’s writing on hysteria and the 19th century French hospital for the insane, Zipp links the culture of drugs, sex, and rock-and-roll music with the realm of psychiatry.

Zipp explores the grey zone where definitions of normalcy versus the insane are questioned with potent images of paintings, sculptural busts, hand written text scrawls, and the antagonistic gaze of collaged eyes upon the faded countenance of people.

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