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YOU CAN TAKE- Lars Koepsel

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Post date:2023-09-25



YOU CAN TAKE- Lars Koepsel
Event Time
Tue.-Sat. 13:00 – 18:00
Event Location
B1, No.17, Ln.56, Sec. 3, Xinsheng N. Rd, Zhongshan Dist., Taipei City Taiwan, R.O.C
“The restaging of the text is reminiscent of contemporary restaging in the theatre, the play is always interpreted in a new and contemporary way.”

Lars Koepsel’s work revolve around the meticulous transcription of handwritten texts onto various media, each chosen according to its thematic content. His creative process involves intertwining three distinct levels of content. Firstly, he carefully selects the texts, which form the foundation of the first level. The second level is defined by the choice of background, ranging from maps and globes to pre-printed and partly historical materials. Lastly, the placement and arrangement of the text in relation to the chosen medium unveils the third level. The intricate interplay gives rise to complex pictorial forms that not only resonate with the textual content but often delve into socio-political issues as well.

The meaning of the text is sublimated during the transcription process; it becomes the crystallization of the article’s content and the essence that is preserved. The extension of painting and calligraphy takes the form of slogan-like wall banners, intended to guide viewers into the process of the artwork’s formation.

At the time when Koepsel was dealing with the issue of ‘tolerance,’ he discovered a completed world map puzzle from his childhood at his mother’s house. This puzzle inspired a new insight and understanding of interrelationships, influencing his further work conceptually. Central to this was the deep understanding that ‘we live in a temporal continuum,’ echoing James Joyce’s statement that ‘history repeats itself with a difference.’

Old maps or globes seem to be the perfect medium for Lars Koepsel to make this temporal continuum visible. He uses what is now called ‘sampling’ from contemporary music, filtering existing media, and incorporating them into the rewrites of his themes. The artworks contain layers that encompass historical dimensions derived from maps, contrasting with the ever-changing present, as well as symbolical layers formed by handwritten images, waiting to be decoded. Lastly, the presence of the text content serves as the foundation of the entire art piece.

The enlargement of the font comes with a new legibility, but the impression of the typeface remains enigmatic due to the different and intertwined levels. The meaning of the textual statement becomes part of the overall concept. Since 2020, Lars Koepsel has been developing a new form of ‘large type works’ for the wall, in addition to his handwriting paintings. These works are based on concrete statements or quotations, such as resistance songs, and through overwriting and interlacing, they initially appear aesthetically pleasing and somewhat cryptic. However, upon closer examination, they reveal deeper layers of content. With these large-format wall works, the artist continues to draw from his training and work as a church restorer in the late 1980s. Koepsel merges the old-masterly technique of mural painting with contemporary statements, giving the handcrafted paintings a new and outstanding significance.

In YOU CAN TAKE/TAIPEI EDITION, Lars Koepsel draws inspiration from his personal background and intertwines it with world historical contexts, creating works that possess symbolism, significance, and multiple layers of meaning. Through exploring past texts, the artist transforms research content into visual imagery and rewrites it in a contemporary manner. Thus, the relationships between individuals, time, and the world are revealed through the interaction of text and material, leading to a thought-provoking journey transcending time and space.

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