+43 676 52 67 112 philipp@philippschnell.at

In my recent exhibition at New Bar Vienna, titled ‚Of Rocks, Walls and Cave Drawings‘, I delved into the world of the common unconscious addressed in multiple drawings, which are referencing ancient cave drawings. As it was the case with the first depictions of man/woman, animals and nature, ancient artists showed scenes of daily life in their art, conveying lively impression of their living conditions, using a simple, yet rich symbolism that resonates with us until this day. It is like these first artists referred to some kind of common knowledge, a present, yet unconscious set of signs that translates long-gone meanings into our present reality. In this process the first cave drawings communicate facts and facets of life in ancient times, but also allude to our sense of humanity, reminding us what it must have meant and still means to be human. The elements of hunting, fighting, surviving, but also enjoyment, laughter, and togetherness are still very present with us today – it is through them, we ultimately understand what it means to be alive.

The drawings shown here take their inspiration from ancient cave drawings, but access the topic of modern life in the city from the imaginary perspective of the cave painter. Uncertain, multifaceted imagery implies a multiplicity of meanings, which demands to be deciphered in order to make sense. Sense is literally being made, manufactured and inferred from the symbolisation of potential references. Multiple levels of reference can be established at each and every moment, in each context and situation. Thus, the drawings at the same time allude to our idea of the unconscious as an arsenal of signs and symbols which constantly needs to be translated, interpreted and interconnected to the world we live in, in order to author meaningful environments. We ultimately are the authors of our own worlds, if only through the meanings we ascribe to people, things, thoughts and feelings. The vocabulary we use is always uncertain, unfinished, elusive, allowing us at the same time to progress, to change, and to evolve. The here-shown drawings ultimately suggest a hidden language that can rather be drawn than understood, unless we are ready to adapt and enter the cycle of imaginary evolution.