- Berlin / Babylon / Main Stage
Eike König? In Germany, any design hipster will nod enthusiastically at the very name like a nodding dog brought to life on the back shelf of a car. The sorts of creatives enamored of grids and dismissive of pleasure, however, will shake their heads the other way and refer, anxiously wide-eyed, to the danger that comes from König-style anti-aestheticization. And that’s not all: For all the modern performers who see creativity as a good assistance system for planned business success in the branding coordinates system of international communication, he remains an unfathomable puzzle.
Eike produces not answers, but rather discourse. Partly with autobiographical justification, in his creative structures, he triggers a ubiquitous media cacophony, which pelts us daily with content-bearing messages, almost like being pelted with bags of cement at the Holi festival in Rajasthan, India. He thus becomes the couturier of a visual decompression suit that banishes into weightlessness our self-made performance pressure stemming from competition and repression for the moment of observation.
At first glance, König’s route seems so simple here: Serial repetition, little color, bold type, short statements, and omnipotent branding are all thrown into the mixer and then, with no great shock absorption, chased across the cobblestones of modern, economically-shaped data highways. For moments here, he becomes the deconstructivist chronicler of a world in which brands, through the DASD plate tectonics of countless DNA servers, crumble into ever smaller particles. The grid-free swarm intelligence that thus comes to light issues a refusal of classic readability. But Eike wouldn’t merit his kingly surname if he did not touch upon the anti-aesthetic tabernacle with quite so much virtuosity or has invented his very own visual chaos theory.
Portraits ©Vincent Riese