Artist highlight: Regina Huebner
by Sanne Helbers
Big concepts wrapped in minimalistic coats. That's what characterises the work by Austrian artist Regina Huebner. Huebner lives in Italy and studied art in Graz and Rome. Her work seems to evaporate with every year she grows older. Or at least, in material form.
Huebner started with oversized paintings from the age of only 15, then passed on to sculptures and installations that gradually were combined with video installations, texts and performances. Less material and more concept. Nowadays Huebner creates concepts of mere slide projections, random movement, shadows and sound or open discussions and debates. The latter is the ultimate example of passing on an idea, concept or vision, without any material form. Once the debate is over, the concept just lives on in other people’s minds. Huebner seems to pass into shrinking (material) outputs with bigger (non-material) inputs where she once started off the other way around.
Huebners works in the series World are very recent and are a fine example of ‘big concepts demanding little material form’. In recent years Huebner started to develop different art works that all have one theme that connects them. In outlook they don’t have to look alike, but the origin of where it all started is the same. Huebner: ‘I work on big themes, realizing different artworks connected to that theme. So, different artworks with different formal aspects often have a common origin from where my creativity develops into artworks.’
The elements are great sources of inspiration to Huebner. The video installations that all carry the theme World show the elements stripped, in a minimalistic way. World I shows, as we interpret it, earth and water; the washing of water and mud, its ongoing presence. World II then shows the air and earth. The video shows a branch sticking into the water. The branch is vegetation of our world. It connects air, earth and water all in one. The 'tree' stands in the earth, reaches to the sky and lives on water. World III shows water, but the object in the water (which looks like the continents of our world btw) is moved by the wind. Again, the object connects the other two elements water and air. Huebner comments that she is busy with another work in the series World. Is this going to be related to the fourth element fire?
In a society where ‘stuff’ seems to determine your right to exist, Huebner returns to Descartes’ core of the ‘thought’ which is the only thing that confines your existence in this world. No material works needed; texts, debates, sounds or images will do. And that just fits so well into this ‘new’ dawning generation that thrives on social media. Your likes or shares are nothing in the ‘real’ world, outside your computer they don’t exist. Inside the virtual worlds though it’s more real than it’ll ever be. Huebners works are minimalistic in the real world, the material world, but they do exist in the mind of the artist and in the eye of the beholder.
Sanne Helbers is one of the team that writes for the cultural website www.ILikeBirds.org, with critical yet entertaining articles that come straight from the heart.