THE – Thomas Eller
Jan-Peter E. R. Sonntag


When Albert Einstein first predicted the existence of gravitational waves in 1916, he hardy
believed himself that his theory would ever detected. However, last February was reported
that this lack of proof had finally been confirmed: gravitation waves are reverberations
of the Big Bang, originated almost 13.7 billion years ago. In fact, what Einstein discovered
then has been scientifically proven and validated today. The process itself evades all kinds
of imagination; it seemed to have place only in academic descriptions. Thus, after the notification
of their existence announced last February, gravitational waves are now even
presented as a cartoon or in Big Bang animations. Yet, the more is proven by science, the
less space is left for the mystery of the universe and humankind. With his theories, Einstein
has transformed the way we think and attitude to science. We are grateful to him for this,
while are waiting impatiently for further speculations and future actions. “KILL EINSTEIN”.


THE - Thomas Eller
„…if I were not, God would not be: that God is God, of that I am the cause. If I were not, God would not
be God.“ „God doesn´t play dice“, Einstein famously said. Thomas Eller’s work THE white male complex
(quis ut deus), 2016 negotiates the background radiation of an old universe that in the West stands largely
abandoned. The recent wars in the Middle East however give rise again to the suppressed metaphysical
residue of Western culture. “God is dead”, Nietzsche famously proclaimed, the corpse however remains
unburied. We are currently experiencing the full impact of terror fuelled by the phantasies for almighty power
of a self-proclaimed theocracy. What is the West’s answer to this?! – Countering ultra-conservative movements
also in the West, Thomas Eller reminds us of a cultural tradition in the West that allows for a positive
approach to the question of god. One that does not give itself to become a mundane power of authoritarian
discern. One also that liberates the individual from the impositions by self-accredited worldly and
spiritual leaders and instead creates an enlightened approach to the world: it is the mystical experience.
In his video, the artist himsel f reads „Beati pauperes spiritu, quoniam ipsorum est regnum caelorum”,
a homily by Meister Eckhart. To the utmost horror for any orthodoxy, this sermon claims god’s
origin to be the self. As such, this exhibition also sheds new light on the complete works of Thomas
Eller who for the past 25 years has been concerning himself with the question of the SELF.
Thomas Eller is an artist and president of RanDian, a Chinese and English language art magazine. He
was executive director of the German branch of artnet AG, as well as managing director and artistic
director of Temporäre Kunsthalle Berlin. He has received various prizes, including the Villa-Romana
Prize and the Käthe-Kollwitz-Prize from the Akademie der Künste Berlin in 2006. He has
been invited to participate in numerous international exhibitions and projects such as Gwangju Biennial;
Solitude au Musée; Musée d’Art Moderne, Saint Étienne; Musée Imaginaire and Museum of Installation,
London. In Berlin, he also co-curated ‘The 8 of Paths: Art in Beijing‘, at the Uferhallen.


Jan-Peter E.R. Sonntag
Exactly 30 years after the Chernobyl accident and 10 years after its premiere at the Kitchen
Gallery in New York Jan-Peter E.R. Sonntags GAMMAvert / a x-sea-scape will be presented
at the inaugoral show of DISKURS Berlin. “The most immediatly striking work was Jan-Peter
E.R. Sonntag´s GAMMAgreen/x-seascape, an installation exploring the poetic confluence
of wave-phenomena”, Michael Wilson wrote in ARTFORUM, November 2006. “Its visual focus
is a seascape photograph taken near the artist’s childhood home on the Baltic Sea. The
photograph was developed using a historic tinting process that uses uranium nitrate, a substance
that emits gamma waves that are read by a radiological sensor and manifested in the
form of high-pitched chirps and pulses of light from a tiny white diode mounted high up on the
wall. Subtly referencing the ocean waves in the photograph, the room is awash in “standing
waves,” pure sound waves so low that they can be both heard and felt as the viewer wades
through them. Corresponding to the simplicity and purity of the sonic sine waves is a monochrome
green glow formed by a single frequency of light. This intense green hue alludes to
the famous “green ray” described by 19th-century adventure writer Jules Verne: a flash of
green light that, on rare occasions, appears on the ocean horizon at sunset.” Christoph Cox
“Man muss die Strahlung nicht notwendig mit jener assoziieren welche den Sedimenten der Ostsee
naturgemäß eignet und auf die der Künstler in seinem Begleittext zur Installation verweist.
Gleichwohl fügt sich diese Information perfekt in das System der Bezüge, in dem sich dieses
Werk entfaltet: Schnittstellen von Kunst- und Wissenschaftsgeschichte werden nicht nur als
Referenzgrößen zitiert, sondern begegnen sich in einem ästhetisch erfahrbaren Gesamtgefüge
und werden für die Kunst neu erschlossen. Genau diese Vorgehensweise ist charakteristisch
für Jan-Peter E.R. Sonntags Arbeiten, zu deren zentrale Fragestellung gehört, wie jenseits der
vorgeblichen Abgeklärtheit so genannter post-moderner Positionierung und eines spielerischen,
modischen Zitat-Pops das Erbe der Moderne fruchtbar gemacht werden kann. Diese Fragestellung
bildet den Ausgangspunkt für komplexe Projekte, die sich oftmals über Jahre weiter
entwickeln. In die wortwörtlich multimedial operierenden Installationen fliessen Forschungen
ein, an denen der Künstler in direktem Austausch mit Wissenschaftlern und Technikern zusammen
arbeitet.” Verena Kuni “Auf der Suche nach dem Wesen der Dinge und ihrer Wahrnehmung
– über Jan-Peter E.R. Sonntags Labortorien der Sinne” in KUNST-BULLETIN 3, 2007.
Jan-Peter E.R. Sonntag is an artist, composer and researcher. He studied fine arts, art history,
music theory, composition, philosophy and cognitive science. He has exhibited in various
international exhibitions and received several grants or prizes such as Akademie Schloss
Solitude, Berlin-& German Sound Art Prize and the Villa-Aurora-Grant in LA, USA, among
others. Since 2012 he is running a media-epistemological research project on Friedrich Kittlers
Synthesizer; since 2014, he is one of the the publishers of Kittlers collected writings. In
2015 he had a solo show at the WKV in Stuttgart – RAUSCHEN; his chamber opera SINUS
about Herman von Helmholtz was shown at the TAT in Berlin and his video- & sound-installation
SONNTAG IM PARK was part of Xenopolis at the Deutsche Bank Kunsthalle in Berlin.




Das Kunstwerk von Thomas Eller wurde hergestellt mit freundlicher Unterstützung von GIGANT.

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