In his fifth solo exhibition at Galerie Elisabeth & Klaus Thoman, Paul Thuile presents new works that make photographically documented wall drawings tangible as light objects in space and – as the title suggests – revolve around the old topos of the genius loci (Latin for “the spirit of the place”). Thuile often visits uninhabited buildings or buildings that are scheduled for demolition in order to fix everyday objects or sections of a room in outline drawings on the wall in a spontaneous artistic act. If the everyday motifs or architectural elements sketched by the artist seem superficially value-neutral, they take on a new significance with the knowledge that people made use of them, that they tell of the past like “contemporary witnesses”.
Paul Thuile makes his drawings at close range to the wall, depicting only what is in his field of vision. This results in perspective distortions and architecturally unstable-looking oblique views, as if from the perspective of an “insect(s) exploring the world from its funnel of vision” (Paul Thuile). In a second artistic act, Thuile has the wall drawings photographed next to the corresponding “real” room sections. This allows for a multi-layered spatial experience that alternates between the artist’s subjective point of view and the “objective” point of view of the camera. Through the interplay of drawing and photography, Paul Thuile addresses the relationship between reality and perception and raises the question of the extent to which reality can only ever be perceived in excerpts, i.e. subjectively distorted. In addition, Thuile’s works activate moments of temporality on various levels. Thus, the photographic documentation of the drawings not only captures the artistic act of drawing in perpetuity, but also illuminates – in this exhibition also in a literal sense – spatial experience in general as an experience in time. Subjectively experienced, Paul Thuile conveys to us through a multi-stage artistic process – from the wall drawing to the photograph to the light box – the genius of a certain place that by now may already belong to the past.
The artist Paul Thuile (*1959 born in Bolzano) lives and works in Gargazon (South Tyrol). From 1982-1988 he studied in Vienna at the University of Applied Arts with Prof. Oswald Oberhuber. Since 2002 he has been an associate professor at the Faculty of Design at the Free University of Bolzano. Thuile has been represented in national and international group and solo exhibitions for a good three decades.
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