Sulfobromophthalein – 108 x 108 inches, 36 inch spot (Poems for Damien Hirst)
POEMS FOR DAMIEN HIRST by Jurgen Ostarhild is a series of text images based on the spot paintings by Damien Hirst. Each color spot was assigned the corresponding hexadecimal code (hex code). The size, proportions, and titles of the originals have been retained. A special monospace font designed for this series allows the six alphanumeric characters that make up a hex code to be mapped as a circular area.
This work examines the color representations of color field painting in the 20th century. Although artists use painting to try to represent the truth of their time, their products are subject to various chemical aging processes. The chromaticity of the colors used changes over time. However, the colors do not change synchronously, i.e., red fades differently from blue or yellow. Every pigment and every binder ages differently. There are chromatic shifts in the color values.
All color representations on monitors are based on the RGB color space. In the RGB color space, the individual colors are named using the hexadecimal color definition. The hexadecimal system consists of sixteen characters: 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, a, b, c, d, e, f . A six-digit character string gives the respective color value. This results in 16777216 colors.
The representation as code creates colors as linguistic constructs. The work was created, among other things, in search of the logic of color terms required by Ludwig Wittgenstein.
Eugen Gomringer, the father of concrete poetry, discovered a certain poetry in these code pictures and sees them as a continuation of his work. If one gave meaning to the individual characters, the images could be read as verses and poems. In 2019, Ostarhild was part of the exhibition PHÄNOMENE DER SPRACH-KUNST IN WORTBILDERN AUS LETTERN UND CODE curated by Eugen Gomringer at the Institute for Constructive Art and Concrete Poetry in Rehau: works in letters containing the hexadecimal code for color photography were presented.
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