Foggy Boxes

Sound installation, print work | wooden speaker system, CD player, digital prints
Solo show, Galerie Wohmaschine | Friedrich Loock, Berlin, 2005

The Wohnmaschine becomes a game reserve. Robert Lippok stages the main room of the gallery as a backdrop of images and music. A rustic wooden sound system and a photograph of a monkey enclosure hang opposite each other like friezes. The material of the sound system and the motif of the photo evoke the rough, the pre-cultivated, nature. But this nature is only a phantom of itself. The computer-produced music from the sound system and the computer printout of the photo sabotage its naturalness. The wildlife enclosure becomes a technology laboratory, the status of the staged becomes blurred. As blurred as the two dots on the third wall, which can be read as a commentary on the indecisiveness of the frieze. Are they the vibrating calottes of the sound system? Or are they dots from the photo print? As the smallest pictorial unit, the dot is the fixed size of a picture, but here it becomes unfixably diffuse.
The elaborately elegant Cibachroms in the following room have a completely different, almost decadently ephemeral presence. Here, the relationship from the first room is reversed. The motifs alone are so surreal, like the jagged gangway, or so dissolved in pastel, like the car park, or so pixelated, like the log cabin property, they seem to lose themselves in unreality. They need the undiffuse point as a fixed size, the pixel as a gigantic, manifest rectangular body.
In the classic computer game “Foggy Boxes”, you try to draw squares in a race against a computer hand. Both sides alternate strokes to be the first to close a square. Robert Lippok doesn’t want to close a square at all, his boxes should remain nebulous.

Robert Lippok does nothing without having fixed the location. When he invites guests, he knows where they are sitting. When he composes theatre music, he walks around the stage and determines the frequencies. And when he designs pictures, he has to know exactly where they should be placed. The Wohnmaschine is such a discreet white cube that images can become extra present – or they can dissolve into it. Robert Lippok has opted for the second approach. You enter his photomontages for the gallery spaces from the left, then you are already outside again on the right or at the top. The motifs alone are so surreal, like the jagged gangway, or so pastel dissolved, like the car park, or so pixelated, like the log cabin property, they only exist in their unreality. But then they also disappear completely and disintegrate into mere dots, grey circles or colourful squares against a transparent background. They are gone. Or are they not really there in these circles and squares in the first place, do we not stand before the smallest manifestable unit of these images, their primal cell, most beautifully recognisable in the monster pixel, the purple horizontal rectangular body to which the individual squares from the log cabin plot are joined? The noisy music with which Robert Lippok exaggerates the discrete nature of the gallery spaces does not provide an answer as to whether these pictures are about dispersion or condensation. But they are very present in this tingling uncertainty.