To Protect Us From What We Seek
What is it that makes us leave our cozy homes to explore the great outdoors? To sleep on the ground, climb mountains, and glide down gorges? Desires one feels probably even more in these times. Lucia Kempkes focuses on the emotional and psychological effects related to the mountain scenery. Her work series “I Wish I Could Climb” and “To Protect Us From What We Seek” play on the contradictory lives of adventurers: Cozy carpets show mountain peaks. Some bring the always improving tools that humankind develops to reach the impossible and conquest nature back home: They’re woven out of paraglider fragments. In her recent drawings, Kempkes goes as far as to eliminate people and human traces from the images of heroic landscapes following the travelers’ illusion of an untouched.
Lucia Kempkes strengthens the polarity between the contradictory and yet cohesive spheres of home and adventure in her work cycle „To Protect Us From What We Seek.“ The series thematises how the constant development of high-tech materials and tools to overcome human limits correlates with the perception of landscape. Mountain panoramas, used on social media and in advertising to proclaim the ultimate experience of nature are freed from human traces, tents and backpackers with crude gestures and the Photoshop eraser. Only the purified nature – including the empty spaces – make it into Kempkes’ drawings. Another current project connects the Atlas Mountains with the Alps: The artist cut Swiss paragliders into strips which were in the following process and in cooperation with women in the Atlas Mountains woven into Berber carpets after her designs.
Lydia Korndörfer, Artistic Director, Kunstverein Arnsberg