PANORAMA: ON KEVIN A. RAUSCH’S “BEST EGYPT”

This entry was posted on June 28th, 2018

By Claudia Siefen

Rausch’s paintings are always sedimentations of materiality and results of an intensive process-oriented energy. Despite all its seductive depth suggesting a landscape space, his canvas is primarily a field of trails and traces. The painter Rausch gets to work spontaneously and with a heightened physical energy: the same goes for the film director Kevin A. Rausch. 

The joy of movement, the suggestive and direct world of Austrian artist Kevin A. Rausch, here as a synchronous access to a trip to Cairo in 2004. The scratchy improvised music in the black and white shimmer, gray and blue, picking up the heat, and letting it flow through the pictures: Cairo, the Glorious, the Strong. A few men wear headgear and sunglasses, the reflection in the glasses, with a short movement of the neck and shoulders, the respective view is then again turned away from the camera. Looking is not a must and becomes an evocative portrait in which color seems to document the gradual process.

The blue-black hallway and twinkling lights, a river in 8mm and a constant turning and knocking. The big screen still allows for a short breath, still that one time. And now the camera goes through the lights and cross-faded houses. Turning in a circle, in a full speed, gentle rhythm slowly sets in. The smearing and scratching is recorded by the bass and the guitar, not continued, but underlined briefly and strikingly

And the rays reach through the multicolored window glasses of a mosque, forming the contrast to the outside: a bright, shimmering and blended day. And with a swish pan the camera hunts through the night, alternating between color and black and white, showing us now the super-heated exterior and promising a refreshing interior.

The pace of the car sets the pace of the camera and its light, while we travel through a residential area. The precise editing keeps our glances of the side streets in check. The colors  wipe across with a broad brush thruogh the pink and yellow and gray and white walls as if with a broad brush, and an old woman limps and lags along the sidewalk. The blue and yellow, the trees and the asphalt. And some nights are green.

In the nocturnal desert the slaughter of a goat is a brief reminder of the hunger to be satisfied, the skinning, the dangling of the head. The subsequent driving through the city brings us back into the here and now. The tilted camera brings everything we see to a halt in a very traversal way, the blood no longer flows. The subway tunnel looks familiar, the beggars and pedestrians are up to date, underlined by electric guitars. The night has many landscapes. The lights create their characters by means of a near-unrecognizable closeness that makes it impossible to express an understanding.

You can cross them on their streets or on the flat roofs, and the mop will pull you past. When a young man looks at the camera and stops it for a few moments. He rubs his chin, talks over, a short wave of his hand and the smile goes back to the camera. In the turmoil of the city this smile did not disappear. The lights on the river mingle with the car lights and form a cloudy haze. The man is gone.

The white color of the headgears is replicated, and this time the men are shown from behind, veiled necks and backs in those cars that drive through the desert and later rebuild the semicircle. But in the meantime the ride will get lost in the blue of the night. The colors and rhythms are found again, the sea and the camels and the heat, the cool of the night leads the stagnation. The East as an European projection and art as its transformer: again an index finger is pointing once more beyond the canvas.

(First published in: KEVIN A. RAUSCH Work so far… Paintings / Drawings / Objects / 2nd Edition / www.kevinarausch.com)