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Painting (MA)

Silke Weißbach

Silke Weißbach (b. 1984, Stralsund, GER) lives and works in London, United Kingdom and Hamburg, Germany. She finished her Bachelor‘s Degree in Graphic Design, Illustration and Painting at the University of Applied Science (HAW), the University of Fine Arts (HFBK) in Hamburg, GER and the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts (KADK) in Copenhagen, DEN in 2016. 
Recent Exhibition include Homegrown, Hauser and Wirth (online, 2020), A Fish You Have Already Caught, London (online, 2020), Plastic Tongue, White House, London (2019) and Brexit, Courtyard Gallery, London (2019). She has co-curated the exhibitions 'Me, Myself and the Possibility of You', 2018 at Westwerk Gallery, Hamburg, GER, 'Die Höhlen von Elephanta', 2017 at Gallery Raumlinksrechts, Hamburg, GER and 'Elephant and Castles', 2017 at 2025 eV., Hamburg, GER.





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Degree Details

School of Arts & Humanities

Painting (MA)

The rings of Saturn consist of ice crystals and probably meteorite particles describing circular orbits around the planet's equator. In all likelihood these are fragments of a former moon that was too close to the planet and was destroyed by its tidal effect. (W.G. Sebald)

Within my work, I combine painting, sculpture, photography, and time-based media to create installations that operate at the intersection of materiality and technology.

My academic research brings together ideas and concepts from New Materialism, Structuralism, and Techno Criticism, to explore how we experience contemporary space through time, material, and technology. I am interested in how technological and scientific interventions supplement our physical realities on a micro and macro level and how these transformations impact human existence.

Through experimentation with raw and consumable materials from the Food, Pharmaceutical, and Cosmetics industries like glucose, cocoa butter, and wax against conventional materials, such as plaster, pigments, and time-based media, I dissolve concepts into the idea of materiality. Ongoing transformations, caused by alchemistic interventions, create impermanent and fragile material states such as leaking fluids, disintegrating textures, and fragmented objects.

Piecing together these fragments, the debris of deconstruction, evokes unexpected moments of conciseness, poetic potential, and aesthetic power. Together with digital events, like looping images and sound-compositions they assemble into amorphous and hybrid landscapes expanding in space and time.

I was sleeping sleepless and dreaming awake, 2020 — video (colour, sound), 04.51 min, (Edition of 3, 1 AP)

I was sleeping sleepless and dreaming awake, 2020 (still, neck)

I was sleeping sleepless and dreaming awake, 2020 (still, my heart)

I was sleeping sleepless and dreaming awake, 2020 (still, eye)

I was sleeping sleepless and dreaming awake, 2020 (still, dabs)


Opacity appears precisley when darkness is made explicit, 2020 — video-installation, size variable, (installation-view)

Opacity appears precisley when darkness is made explicit, 2020 — video-installation, size variable, (installation-view)

untitled, 2020 — installation-detail

untitled (3 screens), 2020 — installation-detail

untitled (my heart), 2020 — installation-detail

untitled (60 beats), 2020 — installation-detail

'Opacity appears precisely when darkness is made explicit' is a video-installation which consists of a modular sculpture of organic screens titled 'segment I – XXV' and the video projection 'I was sleeping sleepless and dreaming awake', (colour, sound, 4:51 min).

The work was produced during the 3 months of lockdown in a Victorian townhouse of an artist friend in Peckham, London (UK). The domestic surroundings became a studio and living space in one.

A cold fireplace – has now become an interior lifestyle accessory. A gas oven – energy ignited via a burner bar and burned by utilizing an open, visible blue flame. Exchange of air between cold and warm. A circulation system. A classic 6a-wing-glassed window – the bridge to the outside world. The light became meaningful. Light created a rhythm. Waking up when the sun was rising and falling asleep at dusk. We are so used to artificial light that we can no longer adapt to the natural cycles happening in front of our eyes. Now, within this minute, I'm writing these words, tapping gently on the keys, piecing together the single letters – the computer screen illuminates my face in an artificial blue.

The Purkinje shift describes the capacity of the eye to shift towards the blue end of the color spectrum necessary to adapt to darkness. "Blue takes hold of the viewer at the extreme limit of visual perception. Blue is precisely, on this side of or beyond the object's fixed form: that it is the zone where phenomena identity vanishes." (Julia Kristeva, Giotto's Joy).

Single screens in the format 36 * 28 * 1.5cm, made from wax, paraffin, fabric softener, cocoa butter, washing powder, and dying pigments. The topological surface of the screens is caused by a chemical reaction among the ingredients. Wax's hydrophobic condition makes it impossible to unify with water. An intense smell of a mixture of washing powder, fabric softener, and cocoa butter evaporates from the object. An artificial flavour, titled 'spring awakening'. Fabric dyeing pigments (Dylon, type: 'Ocean blue'), made of the organic compound triphenylmethane, mainly used in printing technology, come in dabs like the paint in pointillism paintings and mimic the colour of the ocean itself. In reality, the ocean is colourless so is the sky. The surface reflects short wavelengths from the sun, similar to a prism, and absorbs red light spectrum that operates on longer wavelengths. The translucent quality of the screens makes them function like a membrane—a selective barrier for light waves.

Amorphous shapes. Coloured textures. Female body parts shot in the dawn light. A sound texture made from excerpts of the song 'voyage, voyage', sound recordings of sun streams, and a whispering voice. Like the dabs of the pigments, the pixel fall apart and dissolve within the different structures. Projected onto the screens, they merge with the material's surface to become this other image—a dialogue pitching light against shade, instinct against consciousness, movement against stagnation, concealment against visibility.

I was sleeping sleepless and dreaming awake, 0;00;04;10 – 0;00;49;18, 2020 — c-print on Kodak Professional Ultra Endura Paper, 1,82 x 1,62 m

I was sleeping sleepless and dreaming awake, 0;00;27;13, 0;00;27;26, 0;00;29;29 and 0;00;30;17, 2020 — c-print on kodak metallic paper, 73,16 x 130,04 cm

I was sleeping sleepless and dreaming awake, 0;00;29;29, 2020 — c-print on kodak metallic paper 36,58 x 65,02 cm (installation-view)

'I was sleeping sleepless and dreaming awake: 0;00;04;10 – 0;00;49;18, 2020' consists of a series of c-prints in various sizes. The prints show video-stills taken from the opening sequence of the video work 'I was sleeping sleepless and dreaming awake'. The footage was shot during a residency at La Gomera, Spain. This sequences capture refractions of sunlight on different materials, edited to reveal the broad light spectrum. Printed through a chromogenic process, controlled by technology on light-sensitive material, these c-prints reveal a vibrant-colour range.

various c-prints on paper, please visit RCA-Sales for more information

I was sleeping sleepless and dreaming awake

Situationist RCA 2020

As part of the Situationist RCA the video 'I was sleeping sleepless and dreaming awake, 2020' will be screened in different locations in Europe: Brunsbuettel (GER), Copenhagen (DEN), London (UK), Verona (IT).

July 16th - July 31st 2020

Situationist RCA is a physical, pan-continental, temporary, see-it-in-the-flesh, blink-and-you’ll miss-it network of events, happenings and installations that will run during the course of RCA 2020.

Without our regular degree show interiors to adorn our artwork with, you will be able to find us outside, in the parks, alleyways and skies of both London and beyond, the boundaries of our physical presence scattered globally.

The programme is loose, amorphous and active and will be viewed on our constantly updated website.

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