A±Z: Abwesenheit – Zufall / Absence – Accidental
Edition Angewandte, De Gruyter, 2023
This monograph by and about the artistic duo Payer Gabriel is an antidisciplinary encyclopedia that literally unfolds its etymological meaning – as a circle of learning in which variable forms of knowledge that mutually inform and reference each other, often in playful ways, circulate.
The alphabetically arranged collection of terms is the result of the artists’ reflection on their own work, as well as on theories of visual and other epistemologies relevant to their work. For example, an essay by Bruno Latour on inscriptions finds its way into the book not only as an original text, but also via reflection in the form of a drawing and in reference texts. Thanks to these contextualizations, the artistic works transcend their status as documents and develop a life of their own.
An original conceptual realization that approaches the book as an independent work of art
Multifaceted, aesthetically idiosyncratic illustrations and lithographs
With texts by Bruno Latour, Byung-Chul Han, Khadija Zinnenburg Carroll, Odo Marquard, and Micha Payer
Arts-based PhD, University of Applied Arts, 2019-2023
The research project Re-Enacting Tableaus focused on the tableau as a visual and epistemological concept in the context of knowledge production. The tableau is considered as a visual strategy for transmitting knowledge but is also expanded into a philosophical concept. It is used as an operative term in order to understand the process of knowledge production from an artistic perspective. Re-Enacting Tableaus united the practice of drawing with theoretical approaches from philosophy, visual epistemology, and critical posthuman thinking. The centerpiece of this endeavor was the artist book A±Z, which is a defamiliarized version of the common understanding of an established Western European knowledge ordering system—the encyclopedia. Turned into an art form, this encyclopedia worked as a circular reference system concerning visual and text-based epistemes. The encyclopedia entry is the basic structure and individual component that is treated in various ways in A±Z. Encyclopedia entries that shed light on visual epistemology, epistemes, knowledge, difference, and the figure of the idiot from a theoretical perspective accompany artworks by Payer Gabriel from the last decade as well as drawings made specifically for A±Z. Further work series that were developed within the scope of this PhD project and were presented at Zentrum Fokus Forschung include the drawing series On Inscriptions, Trees of Knowledge, order order order, and In Defense of the Accidental.
right: Jean Le Rond d’Alembert, Denis Diderot, “Planche VII,” in Encyclopédie ou dictionnaire raisonné des sciences, des arts et des métiers, ed. Denis Diderot, Jean Le Rond d’Alembert, 1763. Public Domain.
left: Payer Gabriel, On Inscriptions, 2023, pastels on paper, 100 x 70 cm.