Ottmar Hörl Whether he works with garden dwarfs, rubbish bins, brooms or busts of Goethe, the provocative works of this conceptual artist from Frankfurt never fail to attract attention from the media. Unlike artists who only appeal to an educated audience, Hörl—in the same manner once used by the great Dubuffet—aims his work at the masses; yet, he cannot be accused of being a populist who adapts his standards to suit the people. Hörl wants to be understood. The series of photos exhibited in Duchcov, «Landscape for Sprinters», from 1993, is not—as is often the case with Hörl—intended to enlighten. The artist attached an automatic camera to the hub of a vehicle and drove through the woods. In this way, he generated pictures of the countryside in a way that it had never been seen before. He finds is boring, he once said, to look through the viewfinder of a camera because the resulting pictures always show something that he has seen before. Like the photographs Hörl made by throwing an automatic camera from high-rise buildings, these pictures are objective because they were not chosen by the human eye. It is Hörl’s goal to reduce artistic influence as much as possible. In his photography, he determines only the time and place. These are the same general parameters of our own lives. An aspect of this objectivity is that an entire roll of film is always exposed and that there is no arbitrary selection of photos. The work of art consists of all of the pictures on the roll of film. Nothing is removed. The photos are presented as a series. In line wirth this aim to achieve objectivity and to minimize artistic influence, he accordingly opts for the output is multiple objects rather than the production of one unique object. In this way, the artist contributes only the concept in the production of his art. The execution of the work is left to others or to machines. Hörl’s work is in the tradition of the 1960’s when many artists rejected the inflated individualism of gestural painting and saw themselves as common producers of goods. «Landscape for Sprinters» is a series of quickly shot landscape extracts—what is left of the countryside when one is moving fast. Moving fast corresponds to looking fast. The eyes are not longer allowed to roam leisurely over the horizon. Speed has profoundly altered our perception. If you will, «Landscape for Sprinters» is a critical work but—like all good art—it is not an admonition. Critical conclusions are left up to the thoughtful observer.
Burkhard Brunn

  1950 geb. in Nauheim, lebt in Frankfurt am Main und Wertheim (Baden-Württemberg)

1975–79 Hochschule für Bildende Künste, Städelschule Frankfurt/M. / 1979–81 Hochschule für Bildende Künste, Düsseldorf, bei Prof. Klaus Rinke / 1978–81 Stipendium der Deutschen Studienstiftung / 1985 Gründung der Gruppe Formalhaut, mit den Architekten Gabriela Seifert und Götz Stöckmann / 1992–93 Gastprofessur an der TU Graz (mit Formalhaut) / 1994 Förderpreis der Baukunst, Akademie der Künste Berlin (mit Formalhaut) / 1997 art multiple-Preis, Internationaler Kunstmarkt in Düsseldorf / 1998 Wilhelm-Loth-Preis, Darmstadt / seit 1999 Professur für Bildende Kunst an der Akademie der Bildenden Künste in Nürnberg

Landscape for sprinters, 1993 Fotografie