Characteristic of Hans-Christian Brix’s work are the delicate network structures that he has continuously placed in new contexts for the past thirteen years. Completely focused on line and form, the designer and artist draws the finest lines into the white paper with the pen of precisely set ink dots. Lines are the basic element of Brix’s work; they branch and overlap to the point where individual strokes are unrecognizable. Pointed densities, sometimes looser, sometimes more tightly meshed, give the meshes a uniform rhythm. The lines, reminiscent of the all-over paintings of a Jackson Pollock, address the genesis of the painting – as do the works of the American action painter. In the working process, which alternates between calculated and random spontaneous gestures and displays painterly, drawingly and graphically aspects, every step becomes visible. The paper is more than just a carrier of color, its discarded surfaces act as an imaginary space, as a body or matter in which the ball of lines is at home.
With the series “amorphismus” (since 2009), Hans-Christian Brix has developed a clear artistic signature. Amorphism, a term borrowed from physics that denotes the formlessness of bodies due to an unsteady order of atoms, points to the instability of Brix’s lattice formations. In its organic form, the idea of transformation is already in place: not only do the tentacle-like lines in the white paper space seem to reach for new docking possibilities, but one also believes to perceive moments of movement, of flow.
Hans-Christian Brix, who studied medicine and is concerned with current research aspects of neuroscience, quantum physics and quantum philosophy, translates their idea of everything-linking tiny particles into his artistic work. In front of this scientific slide, the networks can be read as conglomerates of atoms, synapses or cells, as a kind of “raw material” that “holds the world together at its core.” This principle, based on the mutual communication of even tiny units, can also be applied to other levels. Thus, the neural line tissue not only reflects the seat of human consciousness and the individual and his or her location in the world, but also addresses the digital revolution, which has fundamentally changed the understanding of images and their availability as well as the communication from person to person. The linearity of traditional media is replaced by simulation, simultaneity and three-dimensional information architecture. Everyone becomes the sender and receiver of messages – Brix’s network forms make these all-encompassing communication structures visible, but not their content.
In the series “orcus nulla” (since 2012), Hans-Christian Brix integrates figurative elements for the first time and thus expands the network formations with new levels of meaning. For the depiction of recurring motifs, such as the tool, the hands or the female figure floating in the room, he uses the superficial, reduced aesthetics of graffiti and silhouette. Grouped in a circle, but without indicating a reading direction, the objects displayed display a narrative structure by linking them to an associative network by fine lines. The works in the series revolve around the “orcus nulla”, an artificial word created by Hans-Christian Brix, which goes back to Greek mythology and which the artist fills with psychological moments. With “orcus nulla”, i. e. the “non-underworld”, Brix names the “emptiness” in the sense of as yet uncovered areas that everyone carries – or believes to carry. To search for, explore and transport this unknown into the everyday consciousness requires, as Hans-Christian Brix calls it, “networking with oneself.” This process is symbolically and strikingly represented in “orcus nulla”, by the world turned upside down, the digging into deeper layers and the tools that represent the apparent security of the material, to which the person who is about to overthrow clings.
For the works from the series “causa sui” (since 2013) Hans-Christian Brix is testing a new material: adhesive. He experiments with the different states of aggregate of the transparent substance, investigates its properties on different types of image carriers and investigates its light absorption. For example, he drifts the still liquid adhesive onto a white primed canvas or works with black adhesive on a black substrate. The seemingly monochrome works unfold their typical net topographies only at a certain incidence of light. With adhesive, Hans-Christian Brix has also found the suitable material to transfer the lines of the ink drawings into the room. From the tough adhesive threads, he forms three-dimensional balls, funnels and nested housings, which, despite their sculpturality, can be located in the area of drawing. In the philosophical discussion about the existence of God, “causa sui” refers to the self-purpose or self-cause of God. God and, as His imitations, all individuals exist for their own will and arise out of themselves. The night sky of “causa sui II”, transparent adhesive on black Mi-tinted paper, most impressively illustrates the guiding principle of the series title. In the creation stories of many cultures, the creation of life springs from darkness, in darkness lies the origin of all things. With the mystery of the creation of the world in mind, we look at the starry sky, which encompasses different planes of time due to the coexistence of extinct and still existing stars, and in its unmeasurable extent represents an order hardly comprehensible for us. “The only way not to despair about these issues”, says Hans-Christian Brix, “is to accept a hidden code that holds everything together, connects everything together. This is the idea of the 'causa sui'. ”
Solvey and Nele Brix / Asuncion / Paraguay