the ambassador
aluminium, lasercut, pigmentprint, polished.
different sizes
2008

The Ambassador appears at first to be an arbitrary drawing on laser-cut polished aluminium. For this undefined object, Messner isolates and borrows a protuberance from Holbein’s painting. The Ambassadors from 1533, which initially seems to be a distorted shape. On closer inspection from a flat angle, it is possible to make out in Holbein’s work that this is an actual object – a skull. The brain, conditioned for decipherment, searches for visual information in Messner’s creation too – but at first, nothing can be discerned visually. “Insiders” (if not everyone!) will recognise the ambassador of death by viewing the work from the right hand side. Like a picture puzzle, this image tricks the eye and disappears, the object returns to its original abstract state. Going beyond a bold explanation and the intrinsic phenomenology of perception, the piece finally regains its autonomy. (from the catalogue of the exhibition "reduction and suspense" bregenz, A, 2009)

165 x 30 x 1 cm   

reduction and suspense magazin 4, bregenz, A, 2009

165 x 30 x 1 cm foto: werner j. hannappel