Texte von Vitus Weh und Georg Friebe, Bilder zur Ausstellung
Herausgeber Kunstraum Dornbirn
Zweisprachig (Deutsch/ Englisch
erschienen im Verlag für moderne Kunst Nürnberg, 2011
Alfred Graf’s approach to his art is exemplary for manifesting the amalgamation of art and science in today’s world. For years Graf in his pictures has studied the sediments and rock formations from the Vorarlberg and other landscapes. In doing so he has been scientist, curator and artist rolled into one. On the one hand, he collects the different essences of the landscapes such as sand and rocks, pollen and beeswax, brings them together and reprocesses them in his studio alchemically. On the other hand, however, the materials are meant to create an image as directly and as uninfluenced by the artist as possible. His work is thus the paradoxical and great acrobatic attempt to let the world be what it was to begin with.
Also his Kunstraum installation “UniVersalMusEum” straddles the ostensible antithesis between subjective art and objective science in its own idiosyncratic way. It does not present a complete universal museum but an ideal blueprint. A high, slim tower of knowledge complete with its collectors and suppliers, its nomenclatures and classifying systems. The artist describes the beginnings of the museum concept per se, of the still tentative and cautious approach to its objects. He traces out a daring methodical order in the empty room and has us once again undergo the satisfaction of, and awe at, the early cabinets of curiosities.
Alfred Graf (*1958 in Feldkirch) has for years studied the sediments and rock formations in Vorarlberg. For his exhibition at the center of Dornbirn’s museum quarter, he likewise draws on the historical material of other local collectors and museum founders in order to erect a large artistic “universal museum” that creates the necessary phantasm of our ability to master the world.