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Takeover #216 Remy Neumann

Remy Neumann: Instagram / Website

#216 (24/10 - 28/10, 2022) written by Esther van Zoelen

In his work, Remy Neumann seeks to find his own subconsciousness. This is hard to unravel, but appears in for example his dreams, through which he learns to navigate. Underneath the different layers he aims to reach the core, from which images are translated into his paintings. By working on himself and using this personal development, his artworks are often turned inwards. Besides using ‘footage’ from his dreams Remy is also interested in marginalia in medieval manuscripts, The Divine Comedy by Dante, and other spiritual sublimeness and atrocities. The old ways of living, in close relationship to spirituality and with awe for gods and devils, is something he finds inspiring because of its rich visual language. Not as symbols, but as images that can take in a whole new meaning.

“I am researching my own subconsciousness ; a visual language that is sometimes hard to decipher…there are so many layers that I can still discover, but this needs more time.”

When applying spiritual images from a long-lost past it can be easy to generate heavy and dark work, but Remy approaches these themes in a light and crisp way. For him humor is important – professionally as well as personally. This becomes clear in the vibrant colors he often uses and the merry sphere he puts down on the canvas. After an audience is drawn in by this first appearance, then they see the cruel and loaded meaning that is also taking place. This tension sometimes creeps into the work without Remy fully realizing it, because for him humor is also a coping mechanism; to create a safe space in a world that can be quite hard.

Remy likes to explore making connections within his collage-like paintings, as well as in the puppet plays he is creating. These can also be seen as collages, but as a time-based medium. He wants to move away from the painting on the wall as a ‘dead thing’ and move towards making art that can be used – just like in medieval times. He wants to make connections with other disciplines too, in an attempt to draw painting further out of its isolated position. Simon Bus is a dancer with whom Remy likes to work, because Simon can create the same sort of balance between existential, deep discomfort and on the other hand humor in his visual language. Together they are working on a film project with performances about medieval dance plagues. Some people in this time unfortunately literally danced to their death due to an absurd psychosomatic phenomenon. To carry out this project Remy created a small creators-family with whom he can share, explore and create ideas.

Remy mostly wants to convey the joy of making, instead of a clear message or ideology. He is interested in his own mind, but also is curious about what audiences see in his works; he is open to the multiplicity of meanings. In his current exhibition in the Noordbrabants Museum there is a painting with which Remy struggled for a while. He is curious to see whether his unfinished relationship with the artwork is tangible for others as well. For him an exhibition is thus a kind of experiment. Even though he is mostly hesitant when it comes to showing unfinished work , he does take seriously what other people have to say. Moreover, this is also a way for him to step back and be less attached to the work as part of his identity; it’s good to create distance sometimes.

“I feel it’s good to not know how things will come across. Often when I force something during the creation process, it is eventually seen in the end result.”

During Remy’s takeover this coming week we can expect to see footage from his current solo exhibition in Den Bosch, as well as images from recent works and projects. Remy often creates and plans things short term, so it’s a surprise what exactly is in store for us. By all means there will be tension between humor, seriousness and perhaps some puppet insights. Let’s see if we can discover some medieval dancers.

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