Each year, the call to celebrate May Day in Berlin-Kreuzberg appears as a banner emblazoned in large capital letters. Last year, instead came an over-sized pamphlet printed with a mysterious message: Parole. After a short while the work was removed on account of its clearly disturbing illegibility.
Friederike Feldmann currently works on „script pictures“, which are now being shown as a complex set of paintings and drawings at Galerie Barbara Weiss. With her costumary writing style, Feldmann creates constellations of script-like lines that have all the appearance of hand-written texts. Zestfully dashed-off lines are cast into successive and ever-different rows of zigzags and loops. But these quasi-words, although seemingly conventional, do not join together to form a linear text that can be read and understood.
The visual rhetoric of this painted lettering hovers between ‚peinture’ and ‚écriture’ and cannot be resolved either in the direction of language or in the direction of iconic qualities. The painted words and texts can only be read as what they are: as a camouflage of an authentic writing gesture that has developed an idiosyncratic yet purposeful relationship between the forms of lines and surfaces. Their individual style presents the contingent means of a design that compacts and resolves the forms at the same time.
These works are quite literally „script pictures“ – or „pictures of writing“ – which in the first instance do not speak through what they represent but exemplify rather the expressive constitution of the handwriting. It is this interplay between the script’s own field of allusions, and its location in the field of the surface that stimulates our eye and throws us back time and again to the materiality of what has been painted. In this way, Friederike Feldmann’s written line formations stake a claim in the field of painting.