boring (from the series Eskimolied)
Gouache and ink on paper
26 x 18 cm
Inv. no. 5090
Museum Morsbroich, Leverkusen
Donation of the artist 2016
1975, Clausthal-Zellerfeld (DE) / lives in Berlin (DE)
Ralf Ziervogel is an innovator in the medium of drawing. The group of works Eskimolied (Eskimo Song) is inspired by the gestures created when using touchscreens. The artist covers his fingertips with black gouache paint and precisely repeats the movements they make when operating tablets or smartphones, but this time on paper. The filigree text elements that accompany the black finger traces yield a kind of protocol of the wishes and desires that we entrust to these electronic devices on a daily basis, allowing them to emerge from the anonymity of virtual worlds.
The artist thus expands drawing’s frame of reference. He identifies the screen’s user interface as a site of drawing—drawings we create every day by leaving fingerprints, although we don’t perceive them as a whole or as having any potential aesthetic, artistic value. Ziervogel reveals multilayered spaces of interpretation within them. He sees them as an expression of boredom (boring), as organically proliferating forms—another sheet is titled Alge (Alga)—or in their mechanical character (machina). As a draftsman, he investigates these involuntarily emerging traces as documents of the way contemporary environments are refracted through media.