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Renate Heidt-Heller

"Unter der Haut"
Fuchs examines different areas of knowledge: Religion, magical rites and modern natural sciences - not to set them against one another but to let them become visible as equal, yet questionable models for defining the world. For this, he traces their formal analogies which are so overlapped in his art work that the images and signs become transparent to one another. The title of his installation The Songs of the Greedy Toads cornbines a primeval animal with the natural greed of all life to remain alive, as well as with the old culture patterns of song, thereby suggesting the initial symbiosis of nature and culture. Toads spawn their eggs in water which, as the basis of all life, plays an important role in the installation. Placed on tables are two water basins with laboratory tools, artificial products and natural materials, all entangled in a still life arrangement reminiscent of an experiment in disaray. All parts relate to nature, whether intending to have been bred with the aid of apparatus, or having been used for a scientific experiment, such as the dead lab flies, or like the animal trophies which refer to a pre-scientific form, gaining control over nature. While the still life gives evidence of discontinued human involvement, apparently having left inanimate material behind, the illuminated projections demonstrate that life goes on. Moving pictures from inside the water basins are projected onto both sides of a free-hanging foil in the room. The movement is produced both by digital animation and by bubbles actually forming in the water, which, however, are so minute the viewer can hardly discern them in the vitrines. In the projections of a magnified section, on the other hand, "the minimum becomes an experience" (Fuchs). They evoke images of organic life. It apears one is witnessing germinating life, observing cell division, watching toads spawn. With light, the basic element of sight, visionary images are produced which cannot be grasped. If the viewer stands frontally before the picture, he enters into the cone of light. If he stands to the side, parts of the picture are swallowed by the foil's grooved surface. If he moves around to the other side, he is confronted with a new permeation of pictorial elements. His wish to see turns into an interactive deed, making perception complex as well as uncontrollable. He experiences his urge to gain knowledge analogous to the research of a scientist who has terminated his unsuccessful experiments, left his laboratory, leaving the initiated processes uncontrolled. Just as the viewer is unable to sovereignly master the image which asserts a (magical?) life of its own, the scientist is also unable to control nature. He has used its power to set processes in motion but is incapable of stopping it at will: Nature carries on arbitrarily. The images, too, although appearing as a hymn to an undefeatable nature, are unable to banish its greediness for life: Nature doesn't submit to any model.