The German word Querschlag means cross cut. This word sounds brute. It may be
contradictory to the political position of Dirk Hanus, Michael Goller, Michael
Knauth and Peter Piek, because it sounds like an approach from the right wing.
Once more, there is a provocation. A word that changes by the use of these four
artists. This word’s content changes.
As a matter of course, the meaning of cross cutting, anger, insurrection, fighting against a second-hand live and the pressure to consume, the defiance against TV addiction remains in the name Querschlag. The name indicates their disregard of cravings for shallow entertainment and their resistance against this preset, filtered reality. The name indicates the resistance by the application of art.
Querschlag consists of four men – I do not comment this fact... In addition to painting, drawing, graphic and photography, they write prose, poetry, lyrics and songs. However, it is not a mix, since the categories remain relatively distinct from the other works. These four artists only use different languages, mostly they communicate with fine arts. They are characterized by changes and upheavals. They develop by autodidactic training, disputations among and against each other. Additionally, there is a difference in age of nearly 20 years between the youngest and the oldest. There must be something that unites them over the generations.
The uniting element may be anger and aggression against the overwhelming power of media, which perceives the invidual only as a consument. On the other hand, the uniting element is also spontaneity, frankness towards any experience and emotion. Anything but the stale substitute for life. They look for the unadulterated life with individual self-determination.
However, this is in no case a reason to classify them in the same category, nor the reason to assign them to one artistic program. Although, their individual art work relates transverse to each other, they still complement one another without dominating any other member of the group. It is no use to put them to one level of the Querschlag protest. If this were their object, they would not have chosen art. The works divide wishing and hope. It only reveals what you see. Programmatic slogans, disguises and coverings disappear instantly.
Let us examine the works now.
Dr. Ina Gille, art historian, Leipzig 5/2005 (translation: Peter Fischer)
From time immemorial fine arts are always directly related to the prevailing socio-political circumstances - and this will never change.
The Chemnitz based artists‘ group “Querschlag“ (obstruction) has not only committed itself to this essential principle of general art history, but it will keep these relations alive, which are unshakable to this day.
Thus Michael Goller, Dirk Hanus, Michael Knauth and Peter Piek insist on making the overall scheme or problems of modern anti-individual human life visible and put them in concrete terms. Contemporary art is struggling in a state of outrageous ambivalence on a path parallel to social further development - if at all: This is the desired subjective-logical conclusion.
No - this conclusion has to be forced out. Because, as the artists see it, for the first time these paths are in danger of drifting apart .
And of evaporating in the superficial-warm liquid of humanist emptiness and intolerance: to give precedence - in a veil of intellectual naivety - to the will-o‘-the-wisps, which are becoming steadily superior. The artists from Chemnitz are convinced that people are less and less open to the intellectual visual messages from works of art.
“More and more people do not perceive reality through their varied senses, but through the one-sided visual manipulative filter of modern mass media.
This will lead to intellectual impoverishment!“ Michael Knauth postulates.
To emphasize this symbolism, the four young obstructionists are looking for a platform to lead as many consumers of their works as possible back to the road of knowledge: “Change yourself first if you want to start changing the world around you!“
Christian-H v Gehe, March 2005 (translation: Jeannine Helbig, M.A.)
Quartete of artists searches with photos, lyrics and paintings for new
When four young men at the age of 22 to 42 gather about every four weeks to have brunch, time isn‘t wasted with not working on arts. Then discussions are held about projects, exhibitions and the work of every single one. And there are no false consideration. Not without reason the four in Chemnitz born artists Dirk Hanus, Michael Goller, Peter Piek und Michael Knauth as “Ricochets“.
“We always choose one of us that has to pull to pieces the work of another one. But this only has to be done with good argumentation“, Michael Goller explains one of their many rituals. It is really important that sincer critics helps every single one to see a progress in his work. Because they are constantly trying to escape from the conventional fields of their profession the “bodycheck“ with quiete a few conventional art teacher or gallerist doesn‘t take long to come.
“It is not a deliberate provocation, more a confrondation, that results fron our work“, Michael Knauth
thoughts out loud about the phenomen of the “rubbing“.
The painter and conceptional artist tries to break out of the language of the pictures with the mixes of
words and pictures and meets in the freelancing photographer Hanus, painter Goller and graphic and
book arts student Piek their understanding.
They are struggeling with their work for an extention of their ways of expressions. This search for new
continents of the intellectual world brought the four after their “ricochet-exhibition“ in May 2003 closer
together. Since then they see each other as mutual propelling power, who influence each other without
loosing their peculiarity. So far it has just been logical to name the art-four after their first meeting.
Uwe B. Rechtenbach, Chemnitz February 2004
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