GALERIE JEROME DE NOIRMONT, PARIS
For his first personal exhibition in a gallery, Jurgen Ostarhild presented his Überbabes project. German artist born in 1956, Jurgen Ostarhild considers that any analogical photography is a reproduction tool of the reality. When digital, photography looses all its spatiotemporal constraints and becomes a tool of pure creation; it is not anymore a mere tool of reproduction. In 1990 while he was a fashion photographer, Jurgen Ostarhild was among the very first ones to quit traditional photography for new digital technologies. Recently, he conceived the advertising campaign of a famous sportive manufacturer without using any camera, only with his computer and scanner.In the same way a DJ mixes music, Jurgen Ostarhild mixes the pixels that make up every digital image. Nose, eyes, mouth, hair, complexion, male or female facial appearances are melted to compose a virtual, hybrid and outstanding beauty. I create my own beauty universe by taking elements from different faces in order to create new ones. Such faces belong to nobody in the real world, but are as perfect as real ones. This work comes from a simple observation: a face often defines more a style or an appearance than many fashion diktats. Whereas classical photographers use make-up, lights and many other devices to beautify their model, Jurgen Ostarhild uses his incredible physical database to move pixels on his computer screen. His images are snap-shots of a beauty in progress. It results in a rare perfection, as true as reality, far away from computer graphics and special effects! Through his creation process and by the very nature of his work, Jurgen Ostarhild raises matters at the crossover of several structural movements shaping our society: - Current issues on body and identity. Body is no longer a stable and fixed reality. Genetics, cloning, plastic surgery, body art (branding, piercing, tattooing ), transgender allow everybody to re-appropriate and re-configure his own body. Jurgen Ostarhild blurs these identity questions by literally merging all differences (sexual, racial, physical). Überbabes the title of the exhibition, which is an ironical reference to the Nietzschean Übermensch, expresses the idea of an androgynous and ideal beauty, that is the fruit of all interbreeding-pots, far from any eugenic standardization.- Nightclubbing and electronic music. Jurgen Ostarhilds influences are mainly musical: he considers himself as a Picture Jockey, referring implicitly to the similarities of his process with those of a DJ who mixes sounds as he does with images. Found of electronic music, he always settles where the avant-gardes emerge (in London in 1990 just after the Summer of Love, in Paris in 1995 to immerse himself in the French Touch) - Fashion as a new religion. Like art, fashion is ontologically part of the present time, as a vision of the world that hinges on the body. Jurgen Ostarhilds demultiplied and entirely shaped faces are at once the object and the image, the raw material and the finished product of fashion. Therefore Jurgen Ostarhilds images reveal much more of the new trends than many clothes - New technologies and the infinite scale of their possibilities. Jurgen Ostarhild diverts the new technologies from their main function: from communication tools, he turns them creation and emotion tools.Three different types of works will be exhibited in Überbabes: - A series of 10 silkscreens on aluminum (90 x 60 cm, edition of 5, numbered 1/5 to 5/5), ten hybrid portraits of an astonishing beauty. Entirely computer generated and silkscreened on an aluminum plate, each portraits seem at first more real than truth and reveals at a second sight its unreality: Sino- Scandinavian, androgynous metis The contrast between the palpable coldness of the aluminum and the intimate warmth of the silkscreened closed-up face adds to the weirdness of the works. In the same spirit, a 2 x 3 m silkscreened plastic sheet tight by ropes and a series of small photographic paper prints will be also exhibited. - A surprising video installation will be at the center of the exhibition. Here, different faces lay out themselves randomly and permanently thanks to of specific software created by Jurgen Ostarhild. Thus, the portraits live independently of their creator, recomposing themselves perpetually in an infinite loop. Presented on a monitor that can be easily moved, it is not a simple video, but a real object, with its proper life that generates its own creations by itself. - In an overpopulated world, virtual technologies will enable to infant human beings of another type, states Jurgen Ostarhild Therefore, he created 50 virtual works especially for his exhibition at NOIRMONT PROSPECT, that will be proposed to the public either directly at the gallery or on the website www.denoirmont.com. Everybody will be able to adopt the face he likes most within a catalogue of 50 different faces. A card with a confidential code will be delivered to each purchaser as to give him exclusive access to his work. Thus, he will be able to download it on his personal computer or enjoy it through the net whenever and wherever he wants, at home, on travel, at friends... Voluntarily limited to an edition of 50 unique pieces and sold at a modest price ( 200 only!), those original works will surely seduce a great majority of people. The avant-garde process of Jurgen Ostarhild and his amazing works symbolize the spirit of NOIRMONT PROSPECT forthcoming exhibitions that will present artists perfectly in phase with their time.