It always depends where one sees something. Those who encounter Ottjörg’s project Deskxistence unprepared in an exhibition cannot at first glance envisage the complexity of the story behind it.
The large prints that shimmer in different colours appear to be etchings whose cuts and scratch marks and bizarre surface shapes belong to the tradition of Art Informel.
However, on closer examination such a premature stylistic categorization is not sustainable. Such large etching plates are quite unusual. In addition, a closer look reveals that the various abstract or even slightly figurative lines and indentations are in fact very distinct. The artist does not seem particularly interested in trying to create his own unique handwriting. Sometimes only words or single letters are visible, although different languages and forms of writing have also been used.
One can suppose with good reason that we are dealing here with the handwriting of several artists. And we do indeed have the results of a collective production here, in which Ottjörg did not participate himself – the marks that pupils have left behind intentionally or unintentionally on the school desks they were seated at during class. One can find such scribbles all over the world and Ottjörg has “collected” them over a period of several years. He undertakes journeys to China, to metropolises such as São Paulo or New York, visits schools along the more extensive travel routes, or visits the places of his own school education.
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