START POINT PRIZE – Prize for emerging artists

Radim Langer

Craftsmanship, which was at first a common basic precondition of image production, came to the forefront and became the main theme. Is it a final stage on a long journey of conceptualization, deconstruction and analysis of representation? Paradoxically, the phenomenon which was thought of as a gift from God before the advent of the avant-garde has become a theoretical issue, the subject of intellectual deliberation and the construction of ideas, it has become more than what it is by itself. For decades it was considered weak in spirit to emphasize craftsmanship in art and it was only a question of time before it would reenter the spotlight. The idea of craftsmanship as conflating representation with the represented object itself has persisted for a long time in academic circles. Maybe that is why Radim Langer has focused his artwork on the two most pressing problems of representation as a medium – on objectivity and the object being represented. It is the work tools and objects, machine components (inspired through the technical and handicraft interests of his father) which becomes the object of representation in his art. Individual technical components are spread across the surface of the paintings and without an attempt to complete the composition this “archive” creates the impression of a machine, that is something which has a function, which is useful, which creates value. In the final installation the painting is an object equal to the objects that it depicts. This leveling could serve as a starting point for developing new approaches. (ej)