Martin Hotter - für für

9 November 2017 – 12 January 2018

Featured on:
PW Magazine

Martin Hotter doesn't have a goal; this may come across as odd, but it is the way it is. There is no predisposed intention to reach any form of calculated aesthetic. Instead his process is derivative of accidental encounters with various objects and materials. Gestures born from the hips of curiosity and consciousness, exploration and meditation; the logos and pictograms drawn onto the photographs he takes attain a meditative quality if only through their mechanical repetition. While exploration and curiosity manifest themselves through reproduction, learning about what is and once was by making it again. 

The photos he takes, are in and of themselves not a final product but more of a means to an end. A walk with no specific destination in mind, an empty plate in the cupboard. Hotter’s vison maintains at any specific time a certain fluidity which prevents any of his works from achieving a state of completion. Für Katharina, für Nicola, für Lone... Hotter often dedicates his various works to those near and dear, celebrating the personal relationships which they symbolize and inadvertently attaining a sense of relief, unburdening himself from the malleable objects in his possession. As his habit of creating photos of photos which have been drawn upon and giving them away developed, he began collecting and documenting them in a book, which he felt to be a more intimate and accessible way to exhibit said images. His method is utilitarian in nature, giving the audience a sense of accidental adaptability. The cardboard shelves, nothing more than a practical solution to the problem of needing to display his works at home. The wooden sculpture in the centre of the room, like a temporary road sign, there to fulfill a purpose, to stand with the least amount of effort possible. 

He collects cardboard boxes, if only for their visual appeal, quirky, awkward, even funny at times. Eventually the face value doesn't suffice anymore, driving Hotter to fill the boxes to the brim with various constructions, with precision and utility. 

All in all, Hotter's praxis is one of efficiency, be it ethereal in nature: building a wall, filling a cardboard box, creating shelves, collecting photos in a book. These efforts dance in tandem with his ephemeral essence. As with the negative exposure of his hand print on the top of the sculpture, the intention is unclear and rightfully so. Like scribbles of "I was here" on bathroom stalls or cave drawings and hand prints from cave men, the intention is irrelevant. Hotter states: “We don't know what it was for, maybe it was for a practical reason, maybe it just was about life and presence...That's the point where one loses the wording and even the sense...” 

Martin Hotter often encounters questions which are neither realistic nor deserving of answers. His is an exercise of need, of wants, of urges, intertwined with his perception of life. For him, it is essential to "play" with any and all things, because it is his genuine belief that “if we don’t play, we don’t learn”. Hotter's gestures and objects inauspiciously become ambassadors of this vision, take for example the cardboard boxes which may inspire a feeling devoid of description, incapable of answering the questions of "what" or "why". This, in fact does not bother the artist. I became aware of this after asking him why he had erected a dry-wall in the gallery, substantially reducing the dimensions of the first room, to which after pausing for a moment, he responded sharply: "art just raises questions". 

Vincenzo Della Corte