About Andreas Schmid
, 2012
Currently German Version only.
, 2007
Renate Wiehager on the solo-exhibition Orte, Galerie am Lützowplatz, Berlin, 2007

“In his concept of the work and artistic practice, Andreas Schmid begins with the constants of visual and spatial thought—point, line, surface, space—and links them in an equally surprising and conceptually compelling way to the political, cultural, and social qualities of spatial orientation.
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This is the basic condition and necessary impulse for the artist’s broad area of work: drawing, photography, spatial drawings, drawings and performative constellations in space with transitions to installation and theater, interventions in public space, teaching, his practice as a curator and writer. Andreas Schmid’s artistic work is primarily situational and temporary. He works on existing spaces as transitive sites, sites of transition between outer and inner perception that develop with the movement of the beholder through the space. Schmid’s work can be termed performative, for it targets possibilities, not only to describe the given architectural structure, but to make visible the hidden, yet latently present spaces concealed in them. For their interpretation, or as Schmid calls it, their ‘amplification,’ he works primarily with lines that are stretched or glued, drawn, painted, cut, or laid. With his interventions, the artist thus lends these spaces—beyond their functionality as a foyer, passage, or public square, or their dysfunctionality as an industrial ruin—an autonomous energetically active condition … Starting from his interest in contemporary music, Andreas Schmid began several years ago to develop light-line scores. The rhythmically pulsing, ephemeral image of lines of light combines in the imagination of the beholder with the lines placed by the artist, glued, or drawn in the space, and finds an echo in the elastically moving lineatures of a four part “spatial construction.” Andreas Schmid has also reflected in recent years on the theme of the “tiers” as spatial layers as well as the layering of assignations of meaning, or in the sense of conditions, circumstances, characteristics, in the medium of drawing as well, parallel to his installation work… That Andreas Schmid has never been exclusively interested in an aesthetically charged formalism in the succession of someone like Fred Sandback, but that his drawing-sculptural argumentations have their anchoring and founding in an analysis of our lifeworld that is both melancholic and provocative of contradiction, becomes clear in many of the artist’s works in public since around 1990. For example, in his on-site work for Tübingen’s Hölderlinturm in 1995, where the artist combined various media levels—text quotations, wall drawings, the placement of strings inside and outside—in such a way that the contradictions within Höderlin as a person, contradictions that are also our own, became physically and intellectually conceivable for the beholder. In 1995, YellowEcho was the title of a drawn intervention with eight 30-meter long ropes in the forest of Tsukui, Japan. In the same year, the work Wüste fegen in Berlin was made, which created a mentally defined space in the midst of a desolate wasteland on 2100 square meter surface, using shallow ditches and ropes, a strict calligraphy. In the artist’s photographs as well, the ‘passages,’ the ‘tiers’ and layering in space should be translated in the sense of a reflection on the experience of transparency and transcendence as humanity’s constitutive intellectual capacity. In one of his most absurd and moving books, Gehen, Thomas Bernhard placed the following words in the mouth of his figure Oehler, “The world is suddenly not perfect, made of layers of darkness, but perfect in layers of clarity.”
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Linien aus Licht
, 2007
Currently German version only.
Der Siegeszug der chinesischen Fotografie
, 2005
published in: European Photography, No. 76, winter 2004/2005, S.3-5

German version only.
Präzision und Offenheit
, 2001
From “Präzision und Offenheit- Mit Räumen zeichnen,” /#Minimal/Concept:
Zeichenhafte Sprachen im Raum#/ by Christian Schneegass-Amsterdam; Dresden: Verlag der Kunst, 2001, pp. 87–94.

Drawing with spaces read more ...

Andreas Schmid about his artistic approach:
“Concerning my approach, I would first like to report of various experiences that led to a formation of the premises for my notion of ‘drawing in space’…
During my years in the People’s Republic of China from 1983 to 1986, I studied the nature of the line, for example in classical Chinese calligraphy and the history of calligraphy. The relationship between black and white within a single character as well as the relationship of characters to one another, both graphic and spatial, was the object of my study. But equally important was working through the mental tension in drawing the line. The lines of each individual character act in space, the character itself creates space, just as the sequence of characters within the whole process. Our own thinking is transferred indelibly and directly to the paper.
At the same time, writing develops a rhythm of its own. The whole sheet has—by way of writing—a form and a link to content. Furthermore, a dramaturgy develops, a score of writing. This position goes far beyond the mere writing of a text and is clearly an artistic act. Fascinating for me is a statement, confirmed by practice, that was made by the calligrapher Wang Dongling in November 1983, that the calligrapher can hear the speed with which the brush needs to be moved (“You will hear how fast you need to write.”). Besides technique, a feeling for the precision of the placement on the sheet and in space develops. These experiences find their application in my spatial works in the European context.
Alongside Chinese calligraphy, my experiences with wide expanses of landscape have shaped my work. Journeys through the expansive landscapes of Northwestern China or the American West, especially through steppes and deserts, gave me the experience of transparency, extension, and size, and at the same time made clear one’s own relativity. The tiniest geographical or color differences can change the whole character of the landscape, even if these changes only stretch very slowly across large spaces. Some landscapes exhibit strong values of approach in terms of drawing or the graphic arts. The desert regions of China, the US, Peru, or Egypt showed me that it is possible to decisively structure a “large” space with relatively minimal, yet precise interventions.

In contemporary music as well, I find approaches that illustrate similarities and affinities to components of thinking in terms of drawing. Non-linear composition, working with fragments and composition particles that are superimposed to form highly complex shapes, are quite compatible approaches that enrich and expand my own ways of working. These include the works of Brian Ferneyhough and Isabel Mundry as well as the various approaches of John Cage or Luigi Nono on including rests or silence in composition, or the opening of the musical scale to quartertones or everyday sounds. Fascinating for me is the freedom of possibilities just as the deep cultural ethos in Nono, his fanning out into dynamic and tonal border realms opens new spaces. The “slowness” of Morton Feldman, or experience of listening to Lachenmann, who explodes conventional form, should also be mentioned here.

As far as my work in interior and exterior spaces is concerned, I begin with the following: neither do I place a prefabricated work nor an idea coming from outside. I take no position, make no claim. For me, the decisive requirements for working on a space are listening to and grasping its characteristics. With few graphic means, the work is structured in the space. The materials of the work’s graphic components are very different: they stretch from the plasticity of a ship cords to cuttings or light traces. The interventions allow the characteristics present in a space to surface, without dominating them: instead, the character of a space is completed and additionally expanded and made to resonate. Various modes of thought and interpretation are open to the beholder
The works are transparent and precise. It is almost as if the new had already existed beforehand. At the same time, some works undergo, through the conscious inclusion of natural light, a change of expression in time. They are fulfilled only with the actions of the beholder in time.”

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Free as a bird
, 2000
Excerpt from the article ‘Vogelflug’ by Knut Ebeling, Tagesspiegel, Berlin, 15.09.2000 on Andreas Schmid’s solo- exhibition Adjustment, 2000, Pratergalerie, Berlin

“With his systematic bird’s eye perspective, Schmid poses the urgent question of the origins and constitution of spatiality: What are spaces? How are they made? And what does this have to do with us? One of Schmid’s most important answers might be: we do not move in premade spaces that have nothing to do with us, rather the spaces themselves produce the modes of behavior we enact within them.”
Speech at the opening of the solo-exhibition, Adjustment
, 2000
Excerpts of Kathrin Bettina-Müller’s speech at the solo-exhibition opening, Adjustment, 2000, Pratergalerie, Berlin

“We have certain expectations about how an artwork relates to the space in which we find it. We expect a clear separation from all else, a visually perceptible demarcation between the reality of the work and the reality in which we find ourselves. Abolishing this separation and thus making the space of art our own space of experience: this is what Andreas Schmid works toward in his installations…# read more ...
Spaces contain user instructions. Doors and windows provide directions of movement, height and depth determine how spaces can be used. But the architecture of right angles and closed floor plans only makes use of a small segment of what a space could be and the many directions contained within it. The lines Andreas Schmid introduces make suggestions: against the conventional perception of space, against the one-sidedness of its standard use and the norming of our interpretation. These interventions also make us read the inventory of lines already present in a space in a different light. Sockets, projections from the wall, and cables placed above the plaster become elements of the outlines of the room. Nothing is beautified or hidden, nothing is represented or simulated, but what is present in the space is made legible. But the thin lines are not just about the lines themselves… As if they could open up the space, using it like a sheet of paper … the lines, depending on their location, can thus negate corners or edges and defy the deceptions of perspective. The lines then become the beginning of a form, the division of a surface, the initiation of something… If we consider Andreas Schmid's installations as choreographic instructions, then we are the dancers. We have to move within this accessible picture, only then is it complete. Only then is the reality of the artwork inseparable from our own. We share the same space. Real space and illusionary space intersect … In his work, he posits no objective claims about what art is, but leaves everything in the subjunctive: what it perhaps could be.”

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Speech at the solo-exhibition opening: Andreas Schmid- Neue Arbeiten
, 1997
Excerpt of Michael Freitag’s speech at the solo-exhibition opening: Andreas Schmid- Neue Arbeiten, Schloß Wiepersdorf, Brandenburg,13.09.1997

“One was not standing before a sculpture, but within it, a sculpture that needed nothing but light, that concealed nothing of its origins, and yet suddenly seemed loaded with possibilities, ideas, energies. The concentration on the inner constitution of the space led to a result that changed the site noticeably, revealing it, unsettling the visitors in their movement, thus enabling them to consider the situation as consisting of graphical and sculptural structures, and to feel, to pick out what they would not have perceived without Schmid’s lines and colors.”