Hans Breder: Nunc Stans

Hans Breder: Nunc Stans

Whitebox Art Center presents

Hans Breder
Time-based paintings

On view Oct. 10th through Nov. 1st 2013
Opening Oct. 10 | 6-9 pm

Whitebox Art Center is pleased to present new time-based paintings by a seminal pioneer of media art, Hans Breder.

In Nunc Stans, Breder’s time-based paintings unfold slowly. Brightly colored patterns evolve, shift, and merge into each other. They change from one moment of perception to the next and cannot be clearly determined. The observer does not succeed in remembering the preceding image because the image itself never solidifies. What comes next cannot be predicted.

Hans Breder embraces the philosophical notion of time as articulated by Augustine, in Confessions, as a starting point of his new work concerning the eternal now: “In every moment I exist in between my past and my future, a threshold state, a widespread now, a nunc stans (everlasting now),” Breder says. Breder sees consciousness as a stream of individual, non-continuous moments. The concept of the threshold state has long been a part of his theoretical grounding.

In 1968, Breder founded the Intermedia and Video Art program at The University of Iowa, establishing the nation’s first MFA program in the subject. “Intermedia is not a interdisciplinary fusing of different fields into one, but a constant collision of concepts and disciplines,” Breder explains. “I seek the immaterial, or what in physics people speak of as ephemeral phenomena that cannot be reduced to mere things. The radically microcosmic experience creates an effect that is at once both abstract and real.”

“The artist Dick Higgins characterises the term Intermedia as the interplay of new technical media. For Hans Breder, however, Intermedia means to reflect the limits of human perception in events, performances or happenings, which arose as a consequence of the new media,” said Klaus Peter Busse, an art professor at the University of Dortmund, about Breder’s recent exhibition at the Museum Ostwall in Dortmund, Germany.

With Nunc Stans, Breder fuses technology, philosophy, and art to produce works that exist in the liminal space of Intermedia. This state of in-betweenness mirrors the Greek concept of kairos, meaning the “supreme moment” of unfixed time, the opposite of chronological time, or chronos. Likewise, Augustine theorizes, “if the present were always present, and would not pass into the past, it would no longer be time, but eternity.” Thus, Breder’s interest in the dissolution of boundaries and manipulating perception, yields a dynamic state in which past and future collide leaving behind only the concentrated awareness of the present, the ever-abiding now.

Over the past four decades, Breder’s work has embodied the spirit of the inter-medial arts–working in and between painting, sculpture, photography, performance, music, and video. His works have been presented in numerous exhibitions in the United States and internationally. He has shown at the Richard Feigen Gallery (1967-1973), the Algus Greenspon Gallery, New York and the Heiner Hachmeister Gallery, Germany. He was included in Kineticism: System Sculpture in Environmental situations, (Official Olympic Games Exhibition), University Museum of Arts and Science, Mexico City, Mexico (1968); Painting Beyond the Death of Painting: Imagistic and Abstract Work, the first group exhibition of American Art at Kuznetzky Most Exhibition Hall, Moscow, USSR (1989); An American Odyssey 1945/1980, Círcolo de Bellas Artes, Madrid, Spain (2004); Ana Mendieta and Hans Breder: Converge, Lelong Galerie, New York (2008), Inmixing: A Survey of Works from 1964 to Present, Whitebox Art Center, New York (2009-2010), Kollisions Felder (Collision Fields), Museum Ostwall, Dortmund, Germany (2013). He has been a participant in the Whitney Biennial Exhibition in 1987, 1989, and 1991; Among the places his work has been collected are the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; and the National Gallery of American Art, Washington, D.C. His Intermedia Archive is installed permanently at the Museum Ostwall, Dortmund, Germany.

Hans Breder and Jee Won Kim

Soundscape in E

The human body has played a central role in Breder’s life/work. Breder has suggested that what happens in the mind is depending on properties of the body. In this cymatic experiment he is using acoustic waves to explore how different frequencies influence genes, cells and various structures in the body.